Amazon, Coinbase Among Best Businesses Using Blockchain | The Countdown | Forbes

This week we’re taking a look at five companies that stand out from our Blockchain 50 list, a list celebrating the companies who are best using blockchain to innovate their businesses. We take a look at Amazon’s webservices business; Walmart food tracking initiatives; LVMH antifraud tracking; the United Nations’ work in Jordan; and how Coinbase is revolutionizing financial blockchain applications. To qualify, Blockchain 50 members must be generating no less than one billion dollars in revenue annually or be valued at one billion dollars or more.

AWS Machine Learning Solves Unique Problems

Tens of thousands of customers choose AWS for machine learning to do things like improve the quality of healthcare, navigate the world’s oceans, analyze the game of football, and optimize transportation logistics. From the world’s largest enterprises to emerging start-ups, see how AWS customers are applying machine learning to solve unique problems.

The Launch of Amazon Managed Blockchain

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, delivers his AWS re:Invent 2018 keynote, featuring the latest AWS news and announcements.

In this segment, he announces Amazon Managed Blockchain as a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using the popular open source frameworks Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum.

The idea is to make it much easier to use the two most popular blockchains.

For private network capabilities, with a specific number of members, Hyperledger Fabric is available now.

Ethereum will be available in a couple of months and is often selected for a public decentralized ledger with an unknown amount of members.


Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract functionality.

Ether is a cryptocurrency whose blockchain is generated by the Ethereum platform. Ether can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant mining nodes for computations performed.

“Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.

Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale that took place between July and August 2014.

The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 72 million coins “premined”. This accounts for about 70 percent of the total circulating supply in 2018.

In 2016, as a result of the exploitation of a flaw in The DAO project’s smart contract software, and subsequent theft of $50 million worth of Ether, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains – the new separate version became Ethereum (ETH) with the theft reversed, and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).


Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned blockchain infrastructure, originally contributed by IBM and Digital Asset, providing a modular architecture with a delineation of roles between the nodes in the infrastructure, execution of Smart Contracts (called “chaincode” in Fabric) and configurable consensus and membership services.

A Fabric Network comprises “Peer nodes”, which execute chaincode, access ledger data, endorse transactions and interface with applications as well as “Orderer nodes” which ensure the consistency of the blockchain and deliver the endorsed transactions to the peers of the network.

Fabric supports chaincode in Go and JavaScript (via Hyperledger Composer, or natively since v1.1) out-of-the-box, and other languages such as Java by installing appropriate modules. It is therefore potentially more flexible than competitors that only support a closed Smart Contract language.

A Blockchain Voting Example

This Amazon Web Services video provides a simple example of voting on an immutably distributed ledger: blockchain. This year, the ideal of having a truly secure, transparent, auditable and yet anonymous voting system took a step closer to becoming reality.

On November 15, 2018, The Secretary of State of West Virginia, Mac Warner, reported a successful first instance of remote blockchain voting.

He stated that in the 2018 midterm elections, 144 military personnel stationed overseas from 24 counties were able to cast their ballots on a mobile, blockchain-based platform.

Warner stated that “This is a first-in-the-nation project that allowed uniformed services members and overseas citizens to use a mobile application to cast a ballot secured by blockchain technology.”

As positive as this was in terms of approaching the ideal noted above, there is still a necessity for security improvement in terms of mobile device usage.