Bitcoin may finally be coming to Amazon, though not in the way that most users have anticipated.
According to documents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a subsidiary of the Seattle-based tech giant has obtained a patent for a data streaming marketplace that allows users to sell or subscribe to streaming data feeds that transfer information in real time.
Amazon theorizes that the data marketplace has a wide range of applications, as users would be able to combine individual data streams to create “real-time dashboards” that “respond to changes in the streaming data in seconds, at any scale.”
In one potential use case, the patent authors explain that retailers could combine shipping information with cryptocurrency transaction data, and government agencies downstream could subscribe to the stream to help them identify the transaction participants and ensure that they are paying all applicable taxes.
“For example, a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream. A group of telecommunications providers may subscribe downstream to the combined data stream and be able to correlate the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of the transactions to countries of origin. Government agencies may be able to subscribe downstream and correlate tax transaction data to help identify transaction participants.”
In another related use case, Amazon envisions a law enforcement agency subscribing to a cryptocurrency transaction data feed and then paying an a la carte fee to analyze that data using an application from the platform’s analysis module.
“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. 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.”
It’s unclear whether Amazon has any plans to build out this data marketplace, as many companies obtain patents for ideas that never leave the shelf.
As CCN reported, PayPal recently won a patent for a Bitcoin wallet and payment system that would allow users to complete instantaneous, fee-free transactions by swapping private keys instead of transacting on the main blockchain.