Amazon Web Services to help get the first billion users into blockchain game

The need to simplify business processes and supply chain management applications integrated with blockchain technology is set to drive the sector's growth

Amazon Web Services (AWS) aims to onboard the first billion blockchain users by promoting a simpler, user-friendly process, which in turn, would be an opportunity to build products and services built on the secure and open-source platform.

AWS, the cloud-computing unit of billionaire Jeff Bezos' e-commerce company Amazon, said it provides purpose-built tools, whether for a centralised ledger database that maintains an immutable and cryptographically verifiable record of transactions, or a multi-party, fully managed blockchain network that helps eliminate intermediaries.

"The thing to keep in mind is that we are the early users and we are very comfortable with the technicalities. But the experience has improved and more people are putting in the effort to learn and invest in blockchain," Emile Baizel, senior blockchain architect at AWS, said at the Fantom Developer Conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The size of the global blockchain is projected to grow to $39.7 billion by 2025 from $3bn in 2020, at a compound annual rate of 67.3 per cent, according to Markets and Markets research.

An increasing need for simplifying business processes and supply chain management applications integrated with blockchain technology will drive the growth of this sector, it added.

The blockchain industry has come a long way from the "dark days of 2017", with the level of user interface and experience improving significantly, Mr Baizel said. Currently, there are numerous steps users need to face and having a simplified and well-defined process will help them get into the blockchain game easier, he said.

"There's way too much for the user to have to learn. Too many steps and lots of room for error. In each one of these steps, the user can lose their assets," he added.

"Back in 2017, you could only do the steps on a desktop, but now wallets and apps are available that have rich interfaces."

Mr Baizel gave the example of the growth of Ethereum – the world's second-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $495bn – which posted a ten-fold increase from October 2017 to October 2021 and now has about 175 million addresses.

However, "we need several ten-fold increases to get to a billion, but the main signal is that we're heading in the right direction", Mr Baizel said.

The promotion of decentralised finance – a system in which financial products become available on a public blockchain network – has also played a key role in helping push things forward, he added.

Quote
The thing to keep in mind is that we are the early users and we are very comfortable with the technicalities. But the experience has improved and more people are putting in the effort to learn and invest in blockchain
Emile Baizel, senior blockchain architect at Amazon Web Services

"We're still very, very early and the user experience still has a long way to go – and that's a great thing," Mr Baizel said. "There's a lot of great opportunities here to grow and build your products and services that can be used by the community.

AWS has become a key component of Amazon's business portfolio. It brought in a record $14.8bn in net sales during the second quarter of this year, accounting for just over 13 per cent of Amazon's total net sales. AWS has steadily grown in the 30 per cent range in the past few quarters, and rivals the biggest players in the industry, including Microsoft's Azure platform.

Earlier this month, AWS teamed up with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to launch a cloud-computing programme to train, certify and teach additional skills to small and medium-sized enterprises in the emirate.

Updated: October 27th 2021, 9:34 AM
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