Amazon has won a patent for a streaming data marketplace that could allow subscribers to receive real-time cryptocurrency transaction data.
The patent describes a system in which individuals and organizations can put streaming data feeds up for sale, to which customers can then subscribe. It was granted to Amazon Technologies, a subsidiary of the e-commerce and cloud computing giant, on Tuesday.
Adding on to that base, the filing says, developers could "build real-time dashboards, capture exceptions and generate alerts, drive recommendations, and make other real-time business or operational decisions."
Amazon's filing lists a number of potential use cases for the marketplace, including "web site click-streams, marketing and financial information, manufacturing instrumentation and social media, operational logs, metering data and so forth" – yet it includes one notable use case focused on the cryptocurrency market.
It argues that individual data streams may not be so valuable on their own, using bitcoin and cryptocurrency transaction data as an example. Yet by combining this data with information from additional sources, "the data stream may become more valuable."
The patent states:
The filing also mentions the marketplace's potential appeal to law enforcement.
"For example, 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," Amazon wrote. "The agency may not want additional available enhancements such as local bank data records. The streaming data marketplace may price this desired data out per GB (gigabyte), for example, and the agency can start running analytics on the desired data using the analysis module."
If Amazon decides to build the marketplace out, the centralized offering could pose a competitive threat to startups who are building similar yet more decentralized marketplaces.
Henri Pihkala, CEO of Streamr – one of the startups in question – told CoinDesk in an email that "data marketplaces aren't a new idea," but that "what is novel, is creating a space that finally gives users ultimate control over the data they create through their actions in the digital realm."
"If that's Amazon's ultimate vision, then bravo, but something might suggest it's not in the company's DNA to think like that," he added.
Image Credit: tiagogarciafoto / Shutterstock.com
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.