Amazon Managed Blockchain Launched – AT&T, Nestlé, and Singapore Exchange Limited Onboard

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Amazon has announced the general availability of Amazon Managed Blockchain, a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks.

“Blockchain is far more than just Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s changing the way companies do business and giving us a new way to solve complex business problems,” said Andy Daudelin, Vice President, Alliances Business Development, AT&T Business. “AT&T’s suite of blockchain solutions now includes Amazon’s Managed Blockchain. Amazon Web Services customers can integrate their blockchain solution with AT&T Business’s IoT and edge-to-edge portfolio. This allows them to automate data collection to improve their ability to manage complex supply chain processes, monitor environmental conditions, improve security, gain real-time insights, and so much more.”

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Customers who want to allow multiple parties to execute transactions and maintain a cryptographically verifiable record of them without the need for a trusted, central authority can quickly set up a blockchain network spanning multiple AWS accounts with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. Amazon Managed Blockchain scales to support thousands of applications and millions of transactions using popular open source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. 

“Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks so they can conduct business quickly, with an immutable record of transactions, but without the need for a centralized authority. However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage,” said Rahul Pathak, General Manager, Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS. “Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates and security, and scaling the network. Customers can now get a functioning blockchain network set up quickly and easily, so they can focus on application development instead of keeping a blockchain network up and running.”

 

Nestlé, a global food and beverage company with more than 2,000 brands and a global distribution network across 189 countries worldwide is onboard.

“Transparency in supply chains is increasingly important to consumers, who want to know what is in their food and where it comes from. While Nestlé has begun to release information on its supply chains for its 15 key commodities, using blockchain technology enables a more precise tracking,” said Armin Nehzat, Digital Technology Manager, Nestlé Oceania. “With Amazon Managed Blockchain, we are able to set up our Hyperledger Fabric network and easily invite our partners to collaborate in our supply chain transparency efforts. Amazon Managed Blockchain will enable our customers to track their products on the blockchain from the farm all the way through to consumption.”

For customers in businesses like finance, logistics, retail, and energy that need to perform transactions quickly across multiple entities, blockchain gives them the ability to execute contracts and share data, with an immutable record of the transactions, but without the need for a trusted, central authority. Customers typically create blockchain networks using frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, but setting up the networks using these frameworks is difficult and time-consuming.

Each member of a blockchain network has to provision hardware, install software, create and manage certificates for access control, and configure network settings. As the usage of a blockchain application grows, there is a lot of work involved in scaling the network, including monitoring resources across all nodes, adding or removing hardware, and managing the availability of the entire network. This complexity is the reason many customers typically need the help of expensive consultants to make blockchain work.

Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed blockchain service that makes it easy and cost effective for customers to create and manage secure blockchain networks that can scale to support thousands of applications running millions of transactions. Customers simply choose their preferred framework (Hyperledger Fabric is supported at launch with Ethereum support coming later this year), add network members, and configure the member nodes that process transaction requests. Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of the rest, creating a blockchain network that can span multiple AWS accounts and configuring the software, security, and network settings.

In addition to making it easy to set up and manage blockchain networks, Amazon Managed Blockchain provides simple APIs that allow customers to vote on memberships in their networks and to scale up or down more easily. Amazon Managed Blockchain offers a range of instances with different combinations of computing and memory capacity to give customers the ability to choose the right mix of resources for their blockchain applications. Amazon Managed Blockchain secures certificates for access control using AWS Key Management Service technology, eliminating the need for customers to set up their own secure certificate storage.

Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) is Asia’s leading and trusted market infrastructure, operating equity, fixed income and derivatives markets to the highest regulatory standards. “Ever since overcoming the physical limitations of open-outcry trading pits, technology has been fundamental to the transformation of critical financial-market infrastructures,” said Andrew Koay, Head of Blockchain Technology, SGX.

“SGX sees blockchain technology as a way to bring innovation to our distributed financial marketplace, and we have developed Delivery-versus-Payment (DvP) capabilities for the settlement of tokenized assets across different blockchain platforms. We are working with AWS to move our existing investments in Hyperledger Fabric to Amazon Managed Blockchain. Amazon Managed Blockchain offers businesses the opportunity to eliminate the heavy-lifting typically required in infrastructure setup. This allows us to focus on adding business value and not worry about managing or scaling the underlying platform.”

MOBI, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, is a non-profit foundation formed to accelerate adoption of and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies.

“Blockchains will increasingly impact the provisioning of mobility services since they enable business networks to reduce the cost of coordinating their activities,” said Chris Ballinger, Founder and CEO, MOBI. “MOBI hopes to build a worldwide network of cities, infrastructure providers, consumers, and producers of mobility services in order to realize the many potential benefits of blockchain technology. Since Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service, users are able to setup a Hyperledger Fabric network in minutes and easily invite other partners to join. Also, since Amazon Managed Blockchain’s ordering service ensures reliable sharing of data across the network, our participants don’t need to worry about managing infrastructure and building a blockchain solution from the ground up. Instead, they can now focus on building applications for connected car payments, autonomous and electric vehicles, and peer to peer ride-sharing services.”

TrackX Inc. is an enterprise asset management company deploying SaaS-based solutions for the comprehensive tracking and management of physical assets.

“Returnable asset tracking including movement and transportation tracing, invoicing, billing, payment and remediation is complicated, and time sensitive,” said Dr. Eddie Shek, Chief Strategy Officer, TrackX. “Blockchain technology has the potential to increase the speed at which we track and reconcile returnable and reusable assets such as beer kegs, intermediate bulk containers, and plastic pallets. Before Amazon Managed Blockchain, we had spent a huge effort building and managing our blockchain infrastructure. Now, we can use Amazon Managed Blockchain to quickly and easily create blockchain networks with Hyperledger Fabric and easily enable our customers to monitor and maintain accountability throughout their entire supply chain. Amazon Managed Blockchain fully manages our blockchain infrastructure and shared network components, enabling us to focus on developing smart contracts to deliver additional value to our customers.”

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations.

“At Accenture, blockchain is driving business transformation in virtually every industry—from aerospace to not-for-profits,” said Prasad Sankaran, Senior Managing Director of Accenture’s Intelligent Cloud & Infrastructure business group. “Blockchain’s unique characteristics are helping to reinvent complex supply chains, improve business processes, and expand the reach and veracity of our digital identities. As the technology continues to take hold, services such as Amazon Managed Blockchain can drive both cost saving and revenue generating opportunities.”

Unlike existing blockchain technologies that require custom development to extract blockchain network activity data, Amazon Managed Blockchain makes it easy to replicate transactions to Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), which will offer a fully managed ledger database with a central trusted authority when it becomes generally available in the coming months. This gives customers the ability to gain advanced insight into key trends, such as who is transacting and what is the rate of their transactions. Amazon Managed Blockchain is available immediately in US East (N. Virginia) and will expand to additional regions in the coming year.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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