Amazon Web Services Inc. has launched an enhanced version of its Amazon Managed Blockchain service that features support for the popular Ethereum blockchain platform.
Launched in 2015, Ethereum is the basis of Ether, the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin by market capitalization. The blockchain platform features a technology known as smart contracts that makes it possible to automate tasks such as transferring funds.
Over recent quarters, the value of Ether has soared amid a surge of investor interest in cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, enterprises such as insurance giant Aon PLC have started exploring ways of applying Ethereum’s smart contracts for tasks such as streaming the insurance underwriting process.
The new Ethereum support in Amazon Managed Blockchain, announced quietly Tuesday, will enable AWS to support such use cases for its customers. Amazon Managed Blockchain is a service launched in 2019 that allows companies to set up and run blockchain infrastructure. It abstracts away much of the technical heavy lifting involved in the task to simplify operations for customers.
Companies can use Amazon Managed Blockchain to host Ethereum nodes, which are the software systems responsible for processing transactions that go through the blockchain platform. They also perform other tasks including storing information on past transactions. AWS is aiming Amazon Managed Blockchain at companies such as financial technology startups that build payment services and related applications on Ethereum.
Amazon Managed Blockchain allows customers to encrypt Ethereum transaction data both at rest and while it’s traversing the network. The service also includes tools that companies can use to continuously synchronize transaction data from their nodes with the other nodes that make up the public Ethereum main network.
To help with day-to-day maintenance, Amazon Managed Blockchain provides updated features that it says make it easier to install new versions of Ethereum. The open-source community that maintains the platform’s code base regularly rolls out feature enhancements. AWS has also added in troubleshooting tools that allow costumes to detect and replace malfunctioning Ethereum nodes in their Amazon Managed Blockchain deployments.
Ethereum is the second blockchain platform that AWS has made available on the service. Amazon Managed Blockchain also supports Hyperledger Fabric, which is maintained by the Linux Foundation and targets the enterprise market. IBM Corp. provides a commercial version of Hyperledger Fabric that organizations use for tasks ranging from processing financial transactions to monitoring the goods in their supply chains.
Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr
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