Amazon Patents a Bitcoin Analysis Service
Law enforcement agencies are showing great interest in Bitcoin users as of right now. They mainly intend to crack down on illicit activities taking place in the world of cryptocurrency. It now appears Amazon is preparing to enter this space as well, as the company recently received a patent to “identity Bitcoin users”. It’s an intriguing development well worth keeping an eye on.
AMAZON AND BITCOIN TRACKING
The blockchain analysis business continues to grow. Various companies are active in this space as of right now, including the likes of Chainalysis and BitFury Group. It makes perfect sense for those firms to track Bitcoin users, as they have both been active in the cryptocurrency industry for quite some time now. Amazon, on the other hand, has not.
That makes a recent patent by Amazon all the more surprising. More specifically, the e-commerce giant obtained a patent to combine data from various sources to track cryptocurrency users. While that is not an especially surprising approach, Amazon hasn’t shown any major interest in cryptocurrency until now. The company has refuted any claims that it would start using this payment method, for obvious reasons. However, it does see merit in blockchain analysis, which is pretty remarkable.
Offering such a service to law enforcement agencies makes a lot of sense. After all, there are a lot of concerns about people using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way to launder money and evade taxes. Given recent IRS reports regarding cryptocurrency holdings, it is evident that few people actually disclose their Bitcoin portfolios to the taxman. Identifying those users is a major priority for the IRS.
Even though Amazon filed its blockchain analysis patent back in 2014, it was only approved earlier this week. This comes at a critical time for the cryptocurrency industry, as law enforcement agencies have been showing an increasing interest in cryptocurrency analysis as of late.
What makes this patent so interesting is that it revolves around a “streaming data marketplace”. This seems to indicate that Amazon plans to create a solution which could be used to provide valuable information that others could buy for their own purposes. Customers could also subscribe to the feeds for specific data. That information could pertain to Bitcoin transactions, but it would also accommodate other undisclosed currencies.
For the time being, it remains unclear when Amazon plans to roll out this platform. With the patent only being granted this week, it is possible the firm has yet to build the necessary infrastructure to make all this happen. At the same time, Amazon is confirming its interest in cryptocurrencies by taking this route. It remains highly unlikely the platform will ever accept Bitcoin or altcoin payments, though, as it has no incentive to do so at this time.