Proof of adoption? Amazon receives crypto patent | BTC-ECHO
The e-commerce giant Amazon received this week with the approval for a patent application filed in 2016, causing a stir in the crypto-space. In it, the online retailer describes a system that uses the creation of so-called Merkle trees (also: hash tree) as the basis of a proof of work (PoW). This is the abstract of the patent:
A proof-of-work system where a first party (for example, a client computer system) can request access to a computer resource. A second party (eg a service provider) can set a challenge that can be met to fulfill the application. The challenge may include a message and a seed, so that the seed can be used, at least in part, to cryptographically derive information that can be used to generate a solution to the challenge. The hash tree can be generated as soon as the solution is created.
Is the Amazon Blockchain coming?
The document gives little concrete reason to speak of a crypto currency adaptation on the part of Amazon. Proof of Work and the SHA256 algorithm used in Bitcoin, among others, are older than cryptocurrencies; however, the references include a patent from the Blockchain company Blockstream, which focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The application, also submitted in 2016, deals with the "Transfer of Ledger Assets between Blockchains via Specified Sidechains". As the inventor, the blockstream application lists the prominent cryptographer Adam Back. Adam Back is considered the inventor of the PoW algorithm Hashcash. It is one of the few references to which the Bitcoin White Paper refers.
It's hard to say what Amazon really wants to do with the PoW patent. The reference to the Blockstream patent underpins speculation that Amazon is moving towards Blockchain or at least Enterprise DLT. Furthermore, the Amazon patent states:
The environment in one embodiment (of the patent) is a distributed and / or virtual computing environment that uses multiple computer systems and components that are interconnected via communication links over one or more computer networks or directional links.
Crypto enthusiasts might interpret this as an example of distributed ledger technology; however, the statement is so vaguely worded that it leaves some (legal) backdoors open. No real reason for exuberant enthusiasm à la Anthony Pompliano:
Breaking: Amazon has filed a patent in the US for a proof-of-work system that uses cryptography.
There is no big company in the world that will not participate in the revolution.
The virus is spreading.
BREAKING: Amazon has filed a patent in the US for a proof-of-work system that leverages cryptography.
There's a big company in the world who's not going to join the revolution.
THE VIRUS IS SPREADING ?
– Pomp ? (@APompliano) May 16, 2019
However, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital is right in saying that more and more large companies are turning to distributed ledger technology. Against this backdrop, an Amazon "blockchain" is anything but unimaginable.
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