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Who will enter the CryptoSphere first: Amazon or Facebook?

Amazon and Facebook are some of the biggest technology companies globally. Furthermore, the two giant companies have substantially impacted billions of internet users. One did it through Facebook’s pioneering and massively successful social media platform. Meanwhile, Amazon used its enormous e-commerce platform and cloud computing services to change the retail market forever. 

Both Amazon and Facebook have made several steps in the cryptosphere. Also, they are both pushing for the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. In fact, both have been instrumental in bridging the gap between traditional finance and the cryptosphere. Looking forward, we can only wonder which one will enter the crypto space first? Here’s an outlook!

How far has Amazon advanced in the CryptoSphere?

Amazon has made significant strides in the crypto space by launching the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) blockchain-like platform. 

QLDB is a ledger database under full management. It offers immutable, transparent, and cryptographically verifiable transaction logs. Also, it operates under the control of a central trusted authority. The ledger tracks all application data changes to maintains comprehensive and verifiable records. 

Almost all applications require a ledger to maintain an accurate record of the data. For instance, tracking the history of debits and credits in banking transactions. Other examples include tracking the product movements in a supply chain or verifying the data set in an insurance claim. Lastly, audit trails in relational databases are part of implementing ledger applications. 

Nevertheless, creating audit functionality with relational databases consumes a considerable amount of time. Furthermore, it is prone to human error. Also, relational databases are not entirely secure. That’s because they do not have inherent immutability to data changes. 

QLDB is an innovative database that facilitates the easy development of ledger-like applications. It comes with plenty of benefits, including immutable and transparent data recording. Also, it is cryptographically verifiable, serverless, easy to use, and highly scalable. QLDB leverages cryptography similar to blockchain. This means that it’s immune to data alterations or deletion.

What Are the Use Cases of QLDB?

QLDB has a wide range of use cases in various industries. For instance, it can be helpful in finance, manufacturing, insurance, H.R. & payroll, retail, and supply. Despite being less than two years old, QLDB is already a tool for powerful companies. Klarna, a Swedish bank, and the U.K.’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are among them. 

Aside from its crypto-like smart database, Amazon has gone a step further into blockchain adoption. For instance, it provides services through its blockchain as a service (BaaS) platform, Amazon Managed Blockchain. This platform allows clients to seamlessly launch their open-source frameworks on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum

Amazon Managed Blockchain enables clients to seamlessly join public networks or set up and manage scalable private networks. It eliminates the need to create a network or join a public network. Also, it is scalable enough to meet the needs of thousands of applications running millions of transactions. Essentially, Amazon Managed Blockchain makes it easy for blockchain users. They can set up, manage and maintain a blockchain network on Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.    

Amazon has taken a keen interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Also, it hired a digital currency and blockchain expert to develop its Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy. An Amazon spokesperson stated that the company has an interest in the innovations occurring in the cryptosphere. Furthermore, it would love to exploit them further. 

Amazon has openly taken an interest in blockchain. However, it hasn’t accepted crypto payments for its products yet. The company has stated that it’s still exploring the impact of crypto payments on its customers. But it has not entirely ruled out the possibility of accepting them shortly.

Facebook Strides in the Crypto Space

Like Amazon, Facebook has an interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. In this regard, it made several moves in the cryptosphere. The massive social network started out in the crypto space in early 2018. Then, it proposed to create its cryptocurrency, Libra. The Facebook head of Messenger at the time, David Marcus, hinted this idea to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The latter quickly endorsed the plan.

Following Mark’s acceptance, Facebook began assembling the necessary resources. It even allowed Marcus to form a team for the project. Therefore, Marcus left Messenger to head Calibra- Facebook’s Libra-focused subsidiary. Then, he recruited top engineers, policymakers, and economists to build the platform’s in-house cryptocurrency.     

Libra would be a stablecoin with the backing of several fiat currencies. Among them would be the U.S. dollar, the Euro, and the Japanese yen. As such, it would be relatively stable in value, unlike Bitcoin and other volatile cryptos. To implement the idea, Facebook partnered with more than 20 organizations, thus forming the Libra Association. 

Some of the most notable Libra Association members included Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal. Additionally, Coinbase, Stripe, Uber, Lyft, and Spotify joined them. Each partner had to pay $10 million to become part of the Libra Association.

Libra Development so far

Libra’s official announcement in June 2019 received a brutal reception even before its launch. Many saw the coin as a threat to global financial stability. For instance, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stated that the coin had severe money laundering and consumer protection concerns. Also, President Trump noted that the coin had no dependability and standing. Following the harsh reception, several companies pulled out of the Libra Association. Among them were Visa, PayPal, Stripe, and MasterCard, as they feared hostile regulatory scrutiny.

Following the skeptical reception in the financial regulatory space, Facebook and its partners announced the project’s overhaul. The new version should comply with the set regulations and prevent its possible abuse. Libra has since been rebranded to Diem. Also, it became a permissioned blockchain-based payment system with a private currency. Diem had to launch in 2020, but nothing happened. Furthermore, Facebook only released the rudimentary experimental code. Apart from Diem, Facebook hasn’t backed any other blockchain project.

Verdict – The Race to CryptoSphere

So far, Amazon seems to have made more considerable strides in the cryptosphere in comparison to Facebook. The giant e-commerce platform has ventured into the crypto space. Also, it created innovative solutions, notably Amazon Quantum Ledger Database. So, it’s clear that Amazon has a higher interest in digital currencies and blockchain technology than Facebook. Also, it hasn’t ruled out the possibility of accepting crypto payments soon. 

On the other hand, Facebook had an ambitious plan of launching its cryptocurrency-Libra. Unfortunately, it didn’t realize this vision due to regulatory concerns. Nonetheless, the social media magnate still plans to launch a blockchain platform with a private currency- Diem. At the moment, it’s not clear when the platform will launch. Only time will tell. 

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Conclusively, both Amazon and Facebook have entered the crypto space. However, Amazon is in a pole position to make significant blockchain advances. That’s due to its growing interest in technology and innovative blockchain projects.

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