2018 is only 44 days young and, without a doubt, blockchain technology has become one of the most talked about stories in the world.
Central to all this has been the cloud, which has been critical not just to blockchain but also to the massive rise of cryptocurrencies as well. While a blockchain is essentially a gigantic ledger / database held together and secured via cryptography, cryptocurrencies are powered by the encryption techniques used to control the creation of the currency and also transfer it (and, not coincidentally, kept track of via blockchain). Key to all this is the strength of the digital cryptography, and in that is the real value of both technologies: secure, nearly-tamper-proof repositories of information. An almost unheard of thing in the modern digital age.
During AWS re:Invent (the largest cloud event in the world), AWS CEO Andy Jassy took questions regarding blockchain. He seemingly snubbed the idea that AWS would build their own blockchain service or get involved in blockchain technology. That was said all while Coinbase, the world’s leader in bitcoin transactions, has used AWS to power their cryptocurrency exchange for their 3 million customers, and Luno, the developers of the Bitcoin API, have relied on AWS to power their own bitcoin wallet. In many respects, AWS is already a cornerstone for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Yet less than a month later, Amazon Web Services announced their Blockchain Partners Portal, providing access to a growing market of blockchain solutions to the AWS customer base. Blockchain technology is more than just a tool for cryptocurrency startups and major financial institutions. The many benefits of cloud computing (custom-fitting capacity planning, increased speed and agility, no data center maintenance, and instant scalability) have instant affects for enterprises that hope to leverage the blockchain to improve their products and services technologies. For example, health care providers can turn to blockchain (and the cloud) to secure patient information and improve transaction processing or legal professionals could place their faith in blockchain to ensure the confidentiality of agreements and transactions, or startups can hold their user login data in a blockchain itself. But these are mere starting points. The choices and potential, from there, are nearly endless.