Amazon has been awarded a patent for a streaming data marketplace offering real-time cryptocurrency transaction data.
The patent, which was granted to Amazon Technologies on Tuesday (April 17), is for a marketplace where individuals and organizations can put streaming data feeds up for sale, and customers can then subscribe to them.
“In one example, a method may include requesting to receive a first stream of data from a first source via the streaming data marketplace,” the patent states. “The first stream of data may be received and then correlated and combined with data from a second source as a combined stream. The combined stream may then be published to the streaming data marketplace.”
In addition, developers could “build real-time dashboards, capture exceptions and generate alerts, drive recommendations and make other real-time business or operational decisions.”
Some of the possible uses for the marketplace, according to Amazon, include “website click-streams, marketing and financial information, manufacturing instrumentation and social media, operational logs, metering data and so forth.”
And while the individual data streams may not be valuable on their own, by combining the data with information from additional sources, “the data stream may become more valuable.”
“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,” explains the patent. “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.”
The patent even reveals that the marketplace might be valuable 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 moves forward with the marketplace, it could pose a serious threat to startups 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 said.