Amazon Web Services (AWS) officially released AWS Blockchain Templates on Thursday. The service is intended to make it easier for developers to create projects based on Ethereum and the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric.
The product, which positions AWS to compete with IBM and Oracle in the blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) market, gives users preset blockchain frameworks. AWS is aiming the service primarily at small to medium-sized companies with limited resources for building their own applications.
In an April 19 blog post announcing the launch, chief evangelist of AWS Jeff Barr enthused about how Amazon is working to help customers use blockchain technology:
"We are launching AWS Blockchain Templates today. These templates will let you launch an Ethereum (either public or private) or Hyperledger Fabric (private) network in a matter of minutes and with just a few clicks. The templates create and configure all of the AWS resources needed to get you going in a robust and scalable fashion."
AWS users can select from two different launch options when using the Ethereum template, deploying blockchain networks either as containers on Amazon's Elastic Container Service or directly to an EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instance running the Docker software.
BaaS is poised to play a pivotal role in the future of blockchain, and is being adopted by government entities and private companies alike. Short of building its own blockchain, the best option for Amazon was to take a proven system like Ethereum and package it up with a smooth user interface.
One use case for BaaS is business contracts, which could benefit from the security, traceability, and transparency of the blockchain.
Users of the AWS templates will be able to launch either a public or private Ethereum network, but Hyperledger Fabric networks are only available as private.
Amazon and Blockchain
Amazon previously showed an interest in Ethereum when it discreetly registered several related domain names – including amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com – late last year. Possibly more importantly, a patent that was awarded to the company surfaced recently. It describes a "streaming data marketplace" for Bitcoin user data.