With the increasing popularity of enterprise blockchain companies, a considerable number of technical experts believe that this kind of decentralization is not always necessary. That’s what Amazon’s quantum ledger database (qldb) is all about. It was originally announced at AWS: invest 2018, targeting organizations that want to have transparent, unchangeable and encrypted verifiable transactions on Amazon Web services (AWS), but do not need decentralization and blockchain.

Why does financial services need blockchain

Who doesn’t need blockchain?

In many cases of financial services, such as issuing and managing central bank digital currency (CBDC) or Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) replacing chess settlement and settlement system, there is no need for public ledger, and only one management agency controls data and process, and there is no need to include consensus driven blockchain. In the first case, we have a central bank to manage and track all transactions, and the centralized and easy to manage digital assets representing an account unit perfectly matches the central bank’s monetary vision. Now they use cash as a decentralized asset that cannot be easily tracked, thus driving the development of centralized digital assets. Things can get complicated when designing such systems and requirements go beyond the scope of the central bank. In Japan, for example, Softbank’s paypay and Rakuten pay provide better incentives for customers than the central bank’s negative interest rates.

In the second case, we have ASX, which has copies of gold data for clearing and settlement, does not need consensus based blockchain, and uses DAML, an open source smart contract functional language created by digital asset. Without the need for a fully decentralized blockchain network, you can still use the same programmable smart contract functionality without additional complexity. That’s what DAML is good at. By abstracting heavy encryption techniques and managing distributed state, it provides you with tools that focus on your applications and projects.

DAML on Amazon Web Services

By integrating with the blockchain technology partner (BTP) platform called DAML sextant, the powerful functions of DAML and Amazon network services can be realized. Using the Amazon quantum ledger database (qldb) as storage, you actually have the best of both worlds. The encrypted binding block attached as a sequence can be used with the smart contract language of digital assets. In this way, enterprise systems engineers and architects can use cloud based qldb from Amazon for immutable storage while using DAML smart contracts to focus on their application logic.

Enterprises need to remain flexible in order to be competitive and develop, while maintaining high standards of security and auditability. BTP’s DAML and qldb’s sextant enable it to run distributed applications seamlessly without operating overhead or endangering security.

As the use cases of native consensus driven blockchain continue to grow beyond financial services, supply chain and healthcare, so does the demand for infrastructure that is easy to deploy and manage. In many cases, the financial and operational overhead of deploying and managing a new technology stack does not match the total cost of ownership (TCO) forecast. In this case, it’s much easier to use an approach like AWS than to combine the qldb of AWS with the DAML of digital asset’s smart contract and bring it to the market quickly, instead of spending months of lawyers arguing about who owns the shared blockchain data and how to manage the blockchain network.

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