Even as the crypto winter persists, online retail giant Amazon remains utterly unperturbed. As a matter of fact, the company sees substantial untapped potential in blockchain technology. On Wednesday, it posted that it was rolling out two new services, including a blockchain-powered service.
According to the press release, the blockchain-based service will enable Amazon customers create a scalable blockchain network. To do this, these Amazon Web Services customers will just have to click a few tabs. Consequently, they will meet the demands of many apps running millions of transactions.
About blockchain technology
The easiest way to describe blockchain technology is that it is a software protocol that underlies cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. While proponents continue to compare its potential to that of the Internet, the hype has practically outpaced reality.
Also called DLT (distributed ledger technology), blockchain technology has a few use cases besides cryptocurrencies. However, these applications that are commercially viable products remain insignificant. To add insult to injury, the prices of cryptocurrencies have tumbled with Bitcoin losing about 70% of its value this year. According to financial services firm Cowen, it will take more than half a decade for cryptocurrency to attain widespread adoption.
Amazon and blockchain technology
Amazon pointed out that it will support two blockchain platforms, Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. The popular Ethereum is unique for empowering developers to build apps on its blockchain platform with access to Ether gas and smart contracts. With regard to Hyperledger Fabric, many corporate giants such as computer manufacturer IBM are already building projects on it.
AWS CEO Andy Jassy explains why the retail giant is venturing into the blockchain industry. Speaking at the re: Invent Conference on Wednesday, Jassy noted that at Amazon, “we don’t build things for optics.” He explained that the world’s biggest online retailer only invests in projects they understand, adding that blockchain technology “is something a lot of companies need.”
On why Amazon is launching into the blockchain space, Jassy pointed out that AWS is doing it in a bid to respond to clients’ requests. The AWS chief executive listed a few customer use cases. These cases include supply chain tracking, mortgages, vehicle history, and healthcare records.
Other companies follow suit
Aside from Amazon, other online retailers are leveraging the capabilities of the blockchain to improve their services. In truth, you are probably living on planet Mars if you didn’t know that Walmart uses the cutting-edge technology to improve their services. The online retailer noted that they mandate their lettuce suppliers to upload data about its source for effective supply chain tracking.
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