At the end of last week Amazon revealed its blockchain templates, which the company claims will make it easier for developers to create blockchain-based projects. Amazon Web Services (AWS) “blockchain-as-a-service” platform is set to compete with similar projects from Oracle, and IBM.
Amazon Web Services
AWS blockchain templates give AWS users working on blockchain projects a faster way to set up two versions of the technology, on the Ethereum blockchain or the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric.
The launch comes six months after Oracle unveiled its cloud service built on the Hyperledger Fabric and about a year after IBM announced its own Hyperledger-based blockchain platform. Both Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric are popular among developers — the former is used by hundreds, if not thousands, of blockchain-based services.
This move further into the world of blockchain, Amazon hopes, will help the company complete with its competitors: IBM, which is one of the leaders in blockchain development, reported $5.5 billion in revenue from its cloud platform in the fourth quarter of last year. For the blockchain industry, having the support of Amazon — one of the largest and farthest reaching companies in the world — could be considered to be a huge vote of confidence for the technology.
“AWS Blockchain Templates provide a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using open source frameworks,” Amazon said. “Blockchain is a technology that makes it possible to build applications where multiple parties can record transactions without the need for a trusted, central authority to ensure that transactions are verified and secure.”
AWS’s Jeff Barr
In a blog post about how to use its blockchain templates, AWS vice president Jeff Barr acknowledged blockchains general lack of clarity by referencing a 1976 Saturday Night Live sketch about Shimmer Floor Wax, a floor polish that is also a dessert topping. In the skit, a couple is fighting over whether a product is a cleaning product or dessert, and although it might not be obvious, it’s actually both things at once.
“Some of the people that I talk to see blockchains as the foundation of a new monetary system and a way to facilitate international payments. Others see blockchains as a distributed ledger and immutable data source that can be applied to logistics, supply chain, land registration, crowdfunding and other use cases,” Barr wrote. “Either way, it’s clear that there are a lot of intriguing possibilities and we are working to help our customers use this technology more effectively.”
This is Amazon’s latest move into blockchain, but the company has been interested in the emerging technology for some time. Last month, the company announced a new partnership with Luxoft Holding. Luxoft and five other consulting firms are working together to roll out blockchain solutions that can operate on AWS.
“Blockchain is about removing data silos, improving trust and operational efficiencies,” said Luxoft’s vice president of technology strategy Vasiliy Suvorov. “By using AWS to deploy and integrate DLTs into day-to-day processes, businesses can revolutionize how they operate.”
In related news, a survey completed by LendEDU last month found that more than half of Amazon users said they would consider using an Amazon-built cryptocurrency on the site. Amazon Prime members were even more eager, with 58.3% in favor and only 21.9% opposed.