Amazon’s Centralized And Decentralized Solutions


The upcoming launch of the new currency-the Libra coin has brought to light debates over the differences and benefits between the centralized and decentralized blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

There is a pending debate about the Libra coin itself, whether it should be classified as a cryptocurrency or not. The centralized nature of Libra is causing quite a debate in the crypto space. A consortium of major corporations are behind the currency and there are fears that authority can still be exercised.

But that’s not the subject of the matter today. We look at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their endeavors to cater for both sides of the divide.

The Centralized Approach

The aspect of decentralization to many individuals is not as attractive as it is to others. The Amazon Web Services realized that some customers only needed the immutable and verifiable record for transactions that comes with blockchain. They weren’t much interested with the decentralized part, they were okay with centralized trust.

The finding prompted the AWS to create the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database to cater for these types of customers. According to AWS blockchain General Manager, Rahul Pathak, the whole idea is about having a cryptographically verifiable, tamper proof and immutable ledger recording every change that takes place but is owned by a single entity. Pathak adds that the solution is effective for cases where auditing trails is needed without caring about distributed trust

The Decentralized Approach

For the crowd seeking a decentralized solution. The AMS also built the Amazon Managed blockchain to cater for their needs. This group of customers desires a ledger without any central unit of authority. In simple terms, they desired a decentralized trust model. Therefore a managed blockchain was needed for this group according to Pathak. He adds that the model would focus on enterprise blockchain use case for permissioned and private blockchains

In late November 2018, the AWS announced the preview for both of the centralized and decentralized models. Pathak notes that the Quantum Ledger Database is still in preview while the amazon managed blockchain was made available at the end of April.

A representative of the AWS has however clarified that customers can still gain free access to the projects in preview by filling out forms and signing up. The project will be available for anyone when it’s released for general availability.

Pathak also added that the managed blockchain service supports the Hyperledger fabric and Ethereum and launched usage in late April 2019.


Customer Usage Trends

According to Pathak, based on customer applications on the AWS blockchain service. A few use case trends have been picked by the cloud service provider. AT&T Telecoms Company and Nestle, the food industry powerhouse are currently examining the tech for their respective supply chain industries for the enhancement of the transparency and traceability elements.

Singapore Exchange, an investment holding company is another company interested in utilizing the Hyperledger fabric and amazon managed blockchain. This is in order to improve settlement and financial asset clearing times.

Sony music in japan also announced that they would be using the service for their music rights management. Guardian life insurance is another customer of the AWS blockchain and is currently evaluating using the tech in payments and legal use and the Hyperledger fabric in pension deals annuities

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