Amazon has already revolutionized the world of online shopping, and, allegedly, the concept of workers’ rights, over the last twenty years. With almost a trillion dollars in the bank, and connections that the world’s top crypto projects could only dream of, Amazon’s ongoing development of Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platforms could be about to do for crypto startups what the company has already done for your local bookshop. With the ability to throw billions of dollars at blockchain technology without putting a dent in its bank balance, what has Amazon got up its sleeve and will history repeat itself?
Construction in the Amazon
The Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain are the first two iterations of the corporation’s foray into distributed ledger technology (DLT). Amazon Managed blockchain is based on Hyperledger Fabric, one of the fastest blockchains out there, and is the one-stop blockchain shop that should be worrying CoinMarketCap’s finest. Interestingly, while the initial product utilizes the centralized Hyperledger, support for decentralized blockchains is coming thanks to an implementation of the Ethereum network, which is a real boost for the relative old-timer compared to its younger, faster, but crucially more centralized, counterparts. QLDB, which has nothing to do with quantum computing, is Amazon’s solution for cases where a full blockchain isn’t required – for example when vehicles need to be registered with the state. The state wants to be able to keep a trustless register of vehicles that it can update, but it doesn’t need it to be distributed (we’ll save the argument of whether this is a true blockchain for another time). Running on AWS, the ledger would be completely centralized with no link to a third-party service or network.
Start the Steamroller
Amazon Managed Blockchain went live in April while QLDB was launched with limited use on Tuesday, meaning that it won’t be long before the behemoth starts getting up steam and trundling its way down the blockchain path, destroying any project that gets in its way. To put things in perspective, Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, and Facebook pay Amazon a combined sum every year that almost equals the entire Cardano ICO raise of $60 million. They can afford to spend years researching the ins and outs of blockchain technology, safe in the knowledge that when they give the green light they have the money and the connections to blow almost every single competitor out of the water. And the traffic light is flashing amber.