For bitcoin to gain mainstream acceptance as a currency, it is vital that cryptocurrency advocates convince retailers to begin accepting bitcoin payments. It is also necessary that people begin making bitcoin payments at those businesses, lest they drop bitcoin as a payment option.
Thankfully, many retailers have demonstrated openness to accepting cryptocurrency payments. TigerDirect, Newegg, Overstock, and Dish Network are just a few of the household names who accept bitcoin.
Bitcoin acceptance has also progressed rapidly outside the United States. Japanese bitcoin marketplace bitFlyer estimates as many as 300,000 Japanese businesses could adopt bitcoin payments by the end of 2017. This summer, Russian e-commerce giant Ulmart plans to accept bitcoin as well.
Now, a new Change.org petition seeks to land the “white whale” of cryptocurrency payments, Amazon. The petition, which is addressed to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, urges the digital conglomerate to accept bitcoin and litecoin payments.
The petition says that by accepting cryptocurrency Amazon would increase their customers’ quality of life:
Acceptance and intelligent integration of these efficient and groundbreaking payment methods will lead to more streamlined commerce and an improvement in the purchasing experience for the many millions who shop Amazon. This logical expansion in the payment options for Amazon’s customers would help to proactively modernize the purchasing process and ultimately improve quality of life by bringing together the most efficient distribution systems with the most efficient and convenient payment systems available.
Although customers can use third-party services such as Purse.io to use bitcoin to buy products on Amazon, the company does not accept bitcoin payments directly; thus consumers must do extra work in order to pay for their Amazon orders with bitcoin.
This is not the first time the cryptocurrency community has tried to use a petition to convince a retailer to accept bitcoin payments. Last year, a Change.org petition asking Walmart to accept bitcoin only garnered 280 signatures. Walmart has begun experimenting with blockchain technology to track delivery drone shipments, but the mega-retailer has yet to adopt bitcoin payment integration.
If Amazon did decide to accept bitcoin, it would go a long way toward making bitcoin a mainstream payment option. It would assuredly gain international press coverage, and Amazon purchases are ubiquitous enough that it is very likely people in the cryptocurrency community would begin making purchases with bitcoin. Finally, bitcoin evangelists might have an easier time convincing skeptical friends to try bitcoin if they could tell them that Amazon accepts bitcoin payments.
That said, the quest to convince Amazon to accept bitcoin is a long shot–at least right now. The petition had 1400 signatures at the time of writing. With online petitions regularly garnering hundreds of thousands of signatures, supporters have a lot of work to do if they hope to capture the attention of Jeff Bezos and Amazon.