Amazon cloud division looks to simplify B2B transactions through chain technology
Amazon Web Services (AWS) unveiled a new fully managed blockchain service that helps businesses stand up and operate trusted, verifiable networks for B2B transactions. The intent is to create more trust among B2B suppliers, collaborators, and customers without the expense of building conventional, stand-alone blockchain infrastructure.
The Lowdown: Blockchain promoters have long promised that the technology that powers digital currency like bitcoin could simplify B2B and B2C transactions and create “webs of trust” in complex networks of suppliers and buyers. AWS, the cloud services division of Amazon, says its managed blockchain service makes it easier for businesses to create and maintain open digital ledgers of transactions.
The Details: Amazon’s managed blockchain service removes many of the barriers that inhibit adoption, such as the complex development that respective parties in a network must complete to participate. Through the managed service, a company can establish a working blockchain infrastructure in minutes, invite other companies to join the network, and create systems in which new members are voted in by the incumbents. As a managed service, blockchain will become more accessible and practical, Amazon says, freeing businesses from having to hire consultants to develop frameworks and infrastructure.
The AWS managed blockchain service uses the Hyberledge Fabric at its foundation. AWS plans to add Ethereum later this year. The managed blockchain service is currently available in AWS’ U.S. East region and will expand nationally and globally in the coming months.
The Impact: Blockchain proponents have long promised the technology would revolutionize B2B and B2C transactions by creating open, verifiable ledgers of transactions. While blockchain powers cryptocurrencies, it’s found limited practical use as a business tool because of the complexity in establishing and maintaining networks. Several companies offer blockchain as a service, but AWS is among the largest to ply this new segment, and that could push the concept to a tipping point of adoption. AWS is working with several technology partners to bring the blockchain service to market.
“Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks so they can conduct business quickly, with an immutable record of transactions, but without the need for a centralized authority. However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage,” said Rahul Pathak, general manager of Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS. “Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates and security, and scaling the network. Customers can now get a functioning blockchain network set up quickly and easily, so they can focus on application development instead of keeping a blockchain network up and running.”
“Blockchain is far more than just bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s changing the way companies do business and giving us a new way to solve complex business problems,” said Andy Daudelin, vice president of Alliances Business Development at AT&T Business. “AT&T’s suite of blockchain solutions now includes Amazon’s Managed Blockchain. Amazon Web Services customers can integrate their blockchain solution with AT&T Business’ IoT and edge-to-edge portfolio. This allows them to automate data collection to improve their ability to manage complex supply chain processes, monitor environmental conditions, improve security, gain real-time insights, and so much more.”
“Before Amazon Managed Blockchain, we had spent a huge effort building and managing our blockchain infrastructure. Now, we can use Amazon Managed Blockchain to quickly and easily create blockchain networks with Hyperledger Fabric and easily enable our customers to monitor and maintain accountability throughout their entire supply chain,” said Eddie Shek, CTO of TrackX, an enterprise asset management company. “Amazon Managed Blockchain fully manages our blockchain infrastructure and shared network components, enabling us to focus on developing smart contracts to deliver additional value to our customers.”