By CCN.com: For whatever reason, people believe that Amazon’s acceptance of Bitcoin or lack thereof will be a significant milestone for cryptocurrency. The company has never accepted it, which has given rise to several business models, including Purse.io and Moon’s recent browser extension.
Amazon has reportedly filed for a patent involving cryptographic proof-of-work, the system that underpins Bitcoin and most major cryptocurrencies. Proof-of-work is a concept invented by Adam Back as part of hashcash, primarily as a means to make it very expensive to conduct denial-of-service attacks.
Amazon mentions this in the earlier paragraphs of its patent application :
“Computer networks have evolved to provide sophisticated functionality in a large variety of contexts. Providing such functionality, however, often involves complex systems that malicious entities may try to exploit. One such attack involves denial-of-service attacks, which can be disruptive to computer systems on a network. In a distributed denial-of-service attack, for instance, large numbers of requests are sent to a computer system to attempt to overload the computer system. One way to mitigate against such attacks is to configure a service such that requests to the service incur some sort of expense, thereby providing disincentive to participating in the attack. One such expense involves imposing a condition that a client submitting a request expend more computational resources (e.g., CPU cycles) to cause the request to be fulfilled.”
The revelation of the patent has sparked the usual fervor, although blockchain-related patents from major companies is nothing new. Bank of America and several other traditional financial companies have filed for and own numerous patents. Amazon’s patent has special relevance for certain sectors of the crypto supporter zone, it seems.
Nowhere does the patent mention cryptocurrency. The patent is purely for a proof-of-work system, presumably to play a role in Amazon’s web services division, which is one of its biggest money makers. We can speculate on what type of products they may intend to offer as a result, but the fact is we don’t know.
Will Amazon create a radical alternative to CloudFlare, for example?
Proof-of-work has previously been used as a method to verify users and even allow them to pay for things. However, most browsers have banned in-browser mining scripts, as the services which provided them were primarily used by scammers and unsavory webmasters.
Amazon interacts with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in a number of ways currently. Its marketplace contains numerous crypto-related products, including hardware wallets and even a gumball machine that accepts cryptocurrency.
We must stress that this patent application does nothing to expand Amazon’s crypto presence, although they are apparently integrating Ethereum in their blockchain services package soon.