Amazon Technologies, a subsidiary of the e-commerce and cloud computing giant, was granted a patent on Tuesday for a streaming data marketplace technology with potential cryptocurrency applications.
In the patent, Amazon describes a computing device that is configured to facilitate the organization of streaming data, which would allow “individuals, companies or organizations [to] provide streaming data to the streaming data marketplace as streams, and customers may subscribe to receive the streaming data.” While the applications of this technology are far-reaching, ranging from marketing and financial information to manufacturing instrumentation and even social media data, much attention has been drawn to the potential bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) applications referenced in the patent.
Amazon cites a number of cryptocurrency use-cases, including a data stream of global transactions that is completely visible to each participant in the network. These streams would allow for the creation of analysis layer applications that would work to provide correlative insights into the transactions. Most notably, Amazon cites the usage of this technology by government agencies looking to track transaction data to help identify participants.
“A law enforcement agency may be a customer and may desire to receive global bitcoin transactions, correlated by country, with ISP data to determine source IP addresses and shipping addresses that correlate to bitcoin addresses.”
While many hoped Amazon would usher in a new era of adoption with a cryptocurrency of its own, this recent patent filing highlights the potential privacy concerns of a large company entering the space. Technologies such as the one described in the patent could make cryptocurrencies built on top of privacy algorithms, such as PIVX, Verge and Zcoin, more appealing.