Amazon made its blockchain service available to the public

Following Oracle and Microsoft, Amazon is officially jumping into the blockchain world.

The e-commerce giant announced this week the general availability of Amazon Managed Blockchain, a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that allows users to create their own blockchain network, add nodes, and deploy decentralized applications and smart contracts. Previously, the platform was in preview mode and was only available to a small group of people. With the announcement, this service is now open to all customers in the U.S. East region.

“Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks,” said Rahul Pathak, the general manager of Amazon Managed Blockchain, in a statement. “However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage.”

Amazon said its platform takes care of much of the infrastructure work in building a blockchain network, using open source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum.

“Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates and security, and scaling the network. Customers can now get a functioning blockchain network set up quickly and easily, so they can focus on application development instead of keeping a blockchain network up and running,” said Pathak.

However, Amazon did not enter the BaaS space without competition. The retailer’s blockchain service is managed under Amazon Web Services (AWS), the firm’s signature cloud platform. Microsoft Azure and Oracle, two of AWS' major competitors, have already launched their own blockchain services, and across the Pacific Ocean, China’s Baidu, Alibaba, and Huawei are all eyeing the BaaS market with their own blockchain services.

So far, Amazon’s blockchain solution has attracted customers including AT&T, Nestlé and Accenture, among others. Currently, customers pay an hourly fee for using the blockchain service. They are also charged for the amount of data they write to the network.