It has long been rumored that if Amazon were to accept bitcoin, it would be a huge boost for bitcoin in the marketplace and that may be true, however that doesn’t mean amazon is a friend of bitcoin users.
Amazon’s 2-year-old patent has now been approved, which means they may begin accepting bitcoin soon, however there intent is largely not what bitcoin enthusiasts would have expected.
Based on the wording of the Amazon patent, rather than simply accepting bitcoin as a payment option, it may actually be that they want to help legal authorities in making bitcoin considerably less anonymous than it current is.
Within their patent the suggest they may be compiling data to sell to law enforcement to make it possible to track users of bitcoin. Within the Amazon patent contains the following verbiage.
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.
The entire patent seems to be about creating an analytic blockchain that will combine customer data from their database with their bitcoin payment data. In fact the patent goes into much further details about invading a users privacy than one may expect not merely combining their user data to their blockchain data but rather a vast amount of data that is otherwise outside the scope of what one would think Amazon is keeping track of.
Further the patent is written in such a way it is not just bitcoin that may be at stake, but any privacy currency at all – such as verge or monero.
The patent states:
The term “data store” used herein may refer to any device or combination of devices capable of storing, accessing, organizing, and/or retrieving data, which may include any combination and number of data servers, relational databases, object oriented databases, simple web storage systems, cloud storage systems, data storage devices, data warehouses, flat files, and data storage configuration in any centralized, distributed, or clustered environment. The storage system components of the data store may include storage systems such as a SAN (Storage Area Network), cloud storage network, volatile or non-volatile RAM, optical media, or hard-drive type media.
Whereas the intent of blockchain data is to decentralize much of the internet and business practices, most also want this done in such a way that user data is still in some manner private and not available for sale no matter who the agency seeking to buy may be.
It appears as if amazon is taking a much diffent approach and trying to turn damasking privatized data into a business all of its own.
This type of behavior means people need to be very careful in the future of exactly where they are spending cryptocurrency if they don’t want to be tracked.
So a company that was once thought to potentially be a cornerstone of mainstreaming cryptocurrency may also become the very company that takes all privacy away from cryptocurrency.
Considering the majority of people don’t understand this technology in the first place, it is very possible the effects on this move by Amazon will be damaging to the entire world of privacy within cryptocurrency and it appears no matter how secure the coin is, it won’t be long before privacy of cryptocurrency is completely a thing of the past.