A Look into Business Applications for AWS Blockchains
Brandon Estes January 9, 2023
AWS provides a vast array of services, some of which can be used to improve business applications. This article explores the use of Amazon's Managed Blockchain and Quantum Ledger Database services.
What can Amazon Managed Blockchain and Quantum Ledger Database do for you?
AWS is a vast collection of services that have the potential to improve business or provide access to opportunities that are otherwise unreachable to small or medium sized companies. I would like to explore a couple of AWS services that level the playing field and allow anyone to have access to the same tools giant corporations like Nestle and BMW are using right now. These two services are Amazon Managed Blockchain and Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), and are powerful tools for business when used effectively. So let’s explore what these services might provide to a business and how to implement them.
Powerful resource for maintaining an accurate account of any kind of transaction
First let’s begin with Quantum Ledger Database; QLDB is a service that allows you to set up and manage a ledger within AWS. This ledger is immutable and append-only, meaning information can only be added to it and never removed. This may not immediately sound like anything special but it can be a powerful resource for maintaining an accurate account of any kind of transaction. This ledger is owned and lives within your AWS account so outside parties may not add to it or access it without permission from the creator. This can be used, for example, to create a log of transactions between a company and its suppliers to show when products were received and when payments were made or to track specific products at any point in the manufacturing process. This log would be tamper proof and cryptographically verifiable so that no one could claim shipments were made when they were not or payments were never issued when they were.
Similarly QLDB can be used for payroll purposes or for inventory management. Industries that need to keep track of specific items or verify the sources of materials, such as an ethically sourced diamond, can use a ledger since there is no way to forge an entry or edit a location after it has been input into the ledger. QLDB is mainly used for businesses who want the capabilities of a Blcokchain but don’t need or want that data to be in the public. While this data may be shared to other third parties but can also be taken away when that third party no longer needs access to a ledger. If a decentralized ledger system is more convenient or necessary AWS has a solution for this as well.
Decentralize your business with Amazon Managed Blockchain
Amazon Managed Blockchain is the decentralized option for users who may have multiple entities all working on the same ledger and want to ensure all members have access to the data at all times. Amazon allows for the creation of a blockchain using either Ethereum or Hyperledger fabric and will even take care of the hardware requirements for you. Creating a blockchain would only require a quick setup where rules for governance will be established and the scope of this specific blockchain will be determined (do not worry as with most things AWS this is a scalable service for future-proofed solutions); then all members of the network will be added and will be able to sign in with their own AWS credentials. Since this service is decentralized no one party owns or holds onto the blockchain, this allows for only honest and verified entries to be added, eliminating any doubt in the authenticity of transactions made on the blockchain. Like QLDB this data is unable to be edited, forged or otherwise tampered with since the entries are also immutable and append-only.
Keep track of every part of your supply chain with Amazon Managed Blockchain
One example of how this could be implemented is by a group of banks who do not trust each other to keep an accurate record of transactions between themselves and all the other banks. Creating a managed blockchain would solve the issue of trust since all transactions are easily verifiable. Alternatively, complex supply chains between multiple independent businesses are common and could be managed within Amazon Managed Blockchain so that anyone, from the raw material companies to the manufacturers, could track all parts of the production lifecycle. The publicity of a blockchain can vary based on the needs of the users as well; for example an open and very public blockchain may want to use the Ethereum option within AWS while sensitive or private information would see better results using Hyperledger fabric.
Get started with Amazon Managed Blockchain today
Due to the wide range of use cases and the varying levels of desired privacy or publicity, creating and managing a ledger or entire blockchain can be an incredibly daunting task. Luckily, this is no longer unobtainable for businesses since AWS has the tools to make these tasks simple and easy. With the knowledge of Amazon Managed Blockchain and Quantum Ledger Database, any company or individual can utilize this exciting technology for their own benefit.
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Insight by Brandon Estes
Brandon is a Data Analyst passionate about understanding how data and trends can impact business, as well as how to best leverage situations to generate untapped growth. His background in mathematics and programming allow him to find new insights and methods of interpreting data for customers.
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