Amazon describes crypto use case in data marketplace patent

The e-commerce giant wins a patent for a system that would enable organisations and individuals to sell data streams to customers

Amazon describes crypto use case in data marketplace patent

Amazon has been granted a patent for a streaming data marketplace that could enable users to receive real-time digital currency transaction data, it has been revealed.

The patent, which was published yesterday, details a system that would allow organisations and individuals to sell data streams to customers that have subscribed to receive that data. Additionally, the system would enable developers to “build real-time dashboards, capture exceptions and generate alerts, drive recommendations, and make other real-time business or operational decisions”, according to the pattern, which has been awarded to Amazon Technologies, a subsidiary of the Seattle-based e-commerce giant.

The document also describes a use case where a data stream publishes or includes global cryptocurrency transactions. In also used Bitcoin transactions in an example demonstrating how a data stream can be made more valuable if it is combined with data from additional sources.

"For example, a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream," the patent says.

In a piece covering the development, industry website Coindesk notes that a number of start-ups have already started to build decentralised data market places and if Amazon decides to build a centralised offering it could pose a competitive threat to these projects. The website contacted Henri Pihkala, the CEO of one such start-up, Streamer, who said that “data marketplaces aren't a new idea," but that "what is novel, is creating a space that finally gives users ultimate control over the data they create through their actions in the digital realm”.

"If that's Amazon's ultimate vision, then bravo, but something might suggest it's not in the company's DNA to think like that," he added, as quoted by Coindesk.

Last year, the organisation behind the cryptocurrency IOTA made the headlines by launching a public beta of a data marketplace based on its distributed ledger protocol, Tangle.

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