AWS launches low-cost blockchain for business

The AWS blockchain service promises to deliver DLT networks with “a few clicks”.
3 May 2019

The AMB blockchain service forms part of AWS. Source: Shutterstock

Amazon Web Services is getting serious about blockchain. This week (April 30), it made the long-awaited(?) and service generally available. And it already has the likes of AT&T, Accenture, and Nestle on its books.

Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) is a ‘fully-managed’ service geared towards, well, any business looking to deploy distributed ledger technology easily, and doesn’t mind paying for the privilege.

In an announcement, Amazon said the service would AMB would allow multiple parties to execute transactions and maintain a cryptographically verifiable record of them without the need for a trusted, central authority.

It claims the blockchain network can be “quickly setup” spanning multiple AWS accounts with “a few clicks” in the AWS management console— so they can instead focus on application development.

The service supports thousands of applications using open source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, according to the firm, and millions of transactions.

“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,” said Rahul Pathak, General Manager, Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS.

“However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage.”

AWS lays out more specific use cases across manufacturing, HR and insurance to track and verify transactions with centralized ownership. Meanwhile, trade, retail, and banking organizations can use the service to execute transactions and contracts with decentralized ownership.

In HR, for example, AMB could be used to maintain a central record of payroll, bonus, benefits, and performance history.

Banks, on the other hand, could use it to exchange information quickly between each other without intermediaries, such as for syndicated loans, which relies on emailing or faxing complex financial information.

According to AWS, customers will be able to make use of APIs allowing to vote on memberships in their networks, and to scale up and down easily.

According to Rahul Pathak, General Manager of AMB at AWS, the service also allows customers “to provision hardware, install software, create and manage certificates for access control, and configure network settings.”

AWS initially announced its blockchain service in November last year, along with the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), which provides a transparent, immutable and verifiable log of transactions, overseen by a central authority.