Amazon launches service to build blockchain networks

Amazon debuted a managed blockchain product for developers using its cloud computing service Nov. 28, CNBC reports.

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, unveiled the blockchain product at the company's re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. Blockchain describes a permanent ledger of online transactions, which — unlike a traditional database — is shared among a network of users rather than being maintained by one central party.

There have been few commercially available products built on blockchain to date, according to CNBC. The technology is best known for underpinning cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin.

On the Amazon managed blockchain service, AWS customers will be able to create and manage blockchain networks "with just a few clicks," according to a company statement. The service uses two popular open-source blockchain platforms: Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

This product release builds on Amazon's recent work with blockchain. In April, AWS launched two open-source blockchain frameworks for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

Mr. Jassy said AWS is releasing the service to respond to demand from existing customers who are interested in using blockchain for a range of applications, such as storing healthcare records.

"We don't build things for optics," Mr. Jassy said at the conference, adding "this is something that a lot of companies need."

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