Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has become the latest big-name tech company to move into the blockchain space.
In a blog post on Thursday, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the e-commerce giant's cloud computing arm, announced the launch of AWS Blockchain Templates, “a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using open source frameworks.” The new product, which TechCrunch notes will compete with similar offerings from IBM Corp. (IBM) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL), provides developers with pre-set blockchain frameworks that support two versions of the technology: Ethereum and the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric.
In a separate post detailing how Templates works, AWS vice president and chief evangelist Jeff Barr said the company decided to move into the blockchain space because the technology, renowned for eliminating the need for a third-party intermediary by creating a permanent, secure record of transactions, offers “a lot of intriguing possibilities.”
“Some of the people that I talk to see blockchains as the foundation of a new monetary system and a way to facilitate international payments," he wrote. "Others see blockchains as a distributed ledger and immutable data source that can be applied to logistics, supply chain, land registration, crowdfunding and other use cases. Either way, it’s clear that there are a lot of intriguing possibilities and we are working to help our customers use this technology more effectively."
Amazon’s move into blockchain will come as a big blow to the companies already operating in the space. Six months ago, Oracle unveiled a cloud service built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric project, roughly a year after IBM introduced a similar blockchain service.
China has also been busy creating blockchain templates. Smartphone giant Huawei announced its own blockchain service, also built on Hyperledger, last week during its analyst conference in Shenzhen, following in the footsteps of other Chinese tech companies, including Baidu (BIDU) and Tencent Holdings Ltd. (See also: Amazon's Stock Faces Giant 10% Swings on Earnings.)
According to a Bloomberg report published in March, Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google is also working on a blockchain solution for its cloud business. (See also: Why Google is Building its Own Blockchain?)