Which issuer of a digital currency would you trust more: Venezuela or Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)? Only one — Venezuela — currently offers a digital currency, and the other has no plans we are aware of to issue its own.
Hypothetically, though, it is an interesting question: If Amazon issued its own digital currency, would you use it? More than half of those who were asked that question recently said they would.
Researchers at LendEDU.com polled 1,000 consumers who had purchased something from Amazon in the preceding 30 days and asked some questions about digital currency and other financial services that Amazon does not currently offer. Makes sense: a year ago Amazon did not own a grocery store chain.
When asking questions about a nonexistent service from a powerhouse brand, pollsters are really asking about the brand and not the service. This poll is no different:
As a consumer, do you trust Amazon to always have your best interests in mind?
a. 46.50% of respondents answered “yes, very much so” (52.49%)
b. 40.50% of respondents answered “somewhat” (37.56%)
c. 5.80% of respondents answered “indifferent” (3.85%)
d. 5.10% of respondents answered “somewhat skeptical” (4.17%)
e. 2.10% of respondents answered “very skeptical” (1.93%)
That’s 87% of those polled who would trust Amazon, at least to some degree, to have a customer’s best interest at heart. That’s a big number.
In response to a question about whether they trusted Amazon or a traditional bank more for handling their personal finances, 55.5% said they trusted Amazon as much or more than a traditional bank.
When asked if they would use an Amazon-issued digital currency for future purchases at Amazon’s website, 51.7% said they would and 26.4% said they were unsure. Nearly 22% said they would not.
Using a digital currency issued by Amazon to make purchases at Amazon is not a whole lot different from using a debit or credit card and is very much like using PayPal or some other digital payment scheme.
But you can’t pay your taxes with Amazon digital currency. If you owe taxes in Venezuela, you can purchase digital “petros” to pay them. Unless the U.S. government accepts a digital currency as payment of taxes, there’s no apparent reason for Amazon customers to acquire them, whether through purchases or mining. The “coins” are really no different from a gift card.