AWS goes blockchain: The cloud giant announces two distributed ledger services

Covering both decentralised and centralised trust, Amazon Managed Blockchain supports Ethereum and HyperLedger, while the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database is a fully-managed ledger database.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy said his company has spent a decent amount of time understanding why customers want blockchain rather than just a database, denying during his AWS re:Invent keynote that AWS was avoiding heading down the distributed ledger path.

See from re:Invent 2017: AWS not buying into the blockchain hype

"Even though we have a lot of customers that run blockchain on top of us ... we just hadn't seen that many blockchain examples that couldn't just be solved by a database," Jassy said.

"The culture inside AWS is that we don't just build things... we understand what problem you want to solve and we then solve it for you."

Also: Executive's guide to implementing blockchain technology | Blockchain and business: Looking beyond the hype | The blockchain explained for non-engineers

On Wednesday, Jassy revealed that AWS is in fact launching two ledger-related services, both centralised and decentralised, saying his company had a significant number of customers who wanted ledgers with centralised trust, but also transactions with decentralised trust.

The first, Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), is a fully-managed ledger database with a central trusted authority.


It's immutable, cryptographically verifiable, transparent, fast -- allowing for the execution of double the amount of transactions as standard, it's scalable, and easy to use, Jassy explained.

Also: Top cloud providers 2018: How AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Oracle, Alibaba stack up

The second ledger-related service is the Amazon Managed Blockchain, which allows users to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using both Ethereum or HyperLedger.


Jassy said it scales to support thousands of applications running millions of transactions, and users can manage their blockchain networks using simple API calls.

Data from the Amazon Managed Blockchain can also be moved into the Amazon QLDB for analysis, Jassy explained.

"In retrospect, it was pretty obvious," the CEO said.

Also: Cloud wars 2018: 6 things we learned

Disclosure: Asha Barbaschow travelled to AWS re:Invent as a guest of AWS

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