There has been much speculation regarding Amazon’s stance towards the blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in general, and the multinational retail company has recently announced two services that utilize distributed ledgers and blockchain technology. Amazon’s receptiveness to using the blockchain is being met with positivity by most cryptocurrency enthusiasts as it paves the way for future blockchain integration by the retail giant, and may help the sector move closer to mass adoption.    

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database and AWS
Managed Blockchain

The retail
giant has officially announced the Amazon
Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), its fully managed ledger database that provides
a transaction log owned by a central trusted authority. The service utilizes cryptography
in order to ensure that the log is a transparent, immutable, and highly verifiable,
and QLDB uses the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function. Amazon state that QLDB tracks every
application data change and works to maintain a comprehensive and verifiable record
of changes over time. However, the retailer has also stated that the service
currently only provides an append-only, immutable journal that keeps track of all

Amazon identifies
transparency, scalability, speed, and ease of use as key features of QLDB and also
highlights that the database can execute two to three times more transactions compared
to current blockchain offerings. The majority of prevailing blockchain systems
use decentralized networks that require a significant number of network members
to reach consensus on the validity of the transaction. QLDB has a centralized
design, which allows it to swiftly execute transactions without the need for
multi-party consensus.

Australia and Smaato have been confirmed as customers and Bruce Haefele, the General
Manager at Healthdirect Australia, a national, government-owned, not-for-profit
organization has stated “Healthdirect Australia operates in a heavily regulated
industry, and it is critical that our compliance data is correct and auditable.
With Amazon QLDB we look forward to having a complete and verifiable history of
every change in our system, making it simple to audit when and how we arrived
at our current state”.

Smaato is a leading
online ad exchange and CEO, Ragnar Kruse has outlined the benefits of using the
service, stating “All participants in the online advertising and real time bidding
market segments are interested in transparency throughout the entire lifecycle
of an online ad auction, from the initial auction, to the winning bid, and
ultimately through to the final impression delivery and who it’s actually shown

Amazon also expects
the service to be adopted by operators in Finance, Manufacturing, Insurance,
Retail, Supply Chain, and HR and Payroll. In addition to QLDB, the retail giant
has also launched the AWS
Managed Blockchain, and the blockchain service supports both Ethereum and
Hyperledger Fabric and aims to make it easy for enterprises to create and
manage scalable blockchain networks using the two popular open source

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the Amazon Managed Blockchain can replicate an immutable copy of a company’s blockchain
network activity into the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), thus allowing
users to easily analyze various aspects of network activity and keep track of
emerging trends. The service is also slated to scale to thousands of
applications and to allow users to run millions of transactions. It can also be
used to manage certificates, invite new members to join the network and track metrics
such as usage of memory and storage resources. Users can navigate the AWS
Console to configure nodes, add members, or to deploy applications.

Jassy recently  stated “This service is going to make it
much easier for you to use the two most popular blockchain frameworks. When we
heard people saying ‘blockchain,’ we felt like there was their weird
convoluting and conflating what they really wanted, and as we spent time
working with customers and figuring out the jobs they were really trying to
solve, this is what we think people are trying to do with blockchain”.

Is an Amazon Digital Currency Next?

move to integrate blockchain technology into its core operations has led some
in the space to speculation that the company may be edging closer to incorporating
cryptocurrency payments. This idea began to gain traction when it was revealed
that the company purchased three cryptocurrency domains last year. Amazon acquired,, and in 2017, sparking
rumours that crypto adoption was imminent, and currently, Bitcoin holders are
forced to use an intermediary site like in order to use their crypto
holdings to make purchases on Amazon.  

While the top
brass at Amazon remain tight lipped regarding the possibility of an Amazon coin,
any decision to integrate a cryptocurrency payment solution would have a
massive impact on the entire space. Amazon saw over $177 Billion in Revenue in
2017, and a digital currency could be used to make purchases on the main site
as well as to use Twitch, Audible, and Amazon subsidiaries such as CreateSpace,
Whole Foods Market, and Zappos.  

The retailer helps to make up the FANG group of high-performing technology stocks and one of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, or Google choosing to launch a digital currency or to integrate already existing crypto payment options would represent a major step towards mass adoption.

Featured image via BigStock.