Amazon to Collaborate with R3

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that it will partner with R3 in a distributed ledger deal. The said agreement will see Amazon employ R3’s Corda platform to provide distributed ledger technology services to the online marketplace giant. This deal makes Corda the first ever Blockchain technology platform that AWS has welcomed to its marketplace.

According to this blog post by R3, the enterprise software firm will allow AWS users to utilize the existing Dapps that R3 has on this platform. In addition, the users will be able to develop and deploy their decentralized applications targeting finance and commerce solutions into the same platform.

Observers consider this a victory of sorts for R3, especially because it comes on the heels of a difficult year characterized by a heated court battle. The distributed database technology consortium and Ripple wrestled in court over what Ripple describes as an unfulfilled token sale and purchase agreement. While the said deal would have profited R3 to the tune of $1 billion, Ripple already announced that it had won the battle over who between the two companies gets to keep the millions of dollars worth of XRP, the digital currency that powers the Ripple network.

Amazon has been slow in embracing blockchain

This deal comes as a surprise especially because of Amazon’s lacklustre approach to Blockchain Technology and the applications hat the technology supports. Early December 2017, Andy Jassy, the AWS CEO was quoted at a re:Invent Conference in Las Vegas, saying that the company had no intentions of embracing Blockchain Technology. This announcement came despite the fact that its biggest competitor, Overstock, is the first player in the marketplace industry to embrace cryptocurrency payments.

This latest development between AWS and R3 will fuel even more rumours. A lot has been anticipated in the recent past regarding Amazon and its willingness to accept Bitcoin. However, not much has been forthcoming until this deal came through.

Competitors playing a different ball game

Embracing the distributed ledger technology remains the most certain hint that Amazon has given so far that it may befriend Blockchain Technology after all. However, this is comparatively less aggressive. AWS rivals such as International Business Machines (IBM) and Microsoft are already undertaking audacious projects related to distributed ledgers in particular and other Blockchain services in general.

Microsoft recently released the Confidential Consortium (Coco) Framework, a protocol based on the Ethereum network that allows large corporations to conduct their operations on the Ethereum network. The protocol, which boosted the stature of the Ethereum network, provides corporations with alternative means of constructing ledgers, offers scalability solutions to corporations, enhances security without necessarily sacrificing immutability and helps corporations achieve distributed governance.

Any available room for improvement?

According to David Rutter, the R3 CEO, the AWS-R3 deal is a turning point for Blockchain technology targeting enterprises. Now AWS users can enjoy the vibrant ecosystem of Corda that boasts of interoperable applications. Rutter added that this deal increases the pool of active and potential developers and, coupled with the enormous network of AWS users, will easily lead to innovations among businesses that create decentralized applications for finance and commerce.

Amazon’s changed stance is an indication that Blockchain’s inchoative but disruptive nature will attract even more corporations and individuals who still hold a negative attitude to the technology.