The Seattle-based e-commerce giant has already granted many patents related to blockchain and cryptocurrency and their use cases. Recently, E-commerce giant Amazon has recently been granted a patent for a proof-of-work (PoW) system that could be used to prevent the popular distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that computer networks are often subjected too, TWN reported. The patent was first filed in late 2016 and the patent application was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this week.
The patent basically shows how Merkle trees can be planted to prevent DDoS attacks and overcome proof-of-work challenges. Amazon’s patent explains:
“A proof-of-work system where a first party (e.g., a client computer system) may request access to a computing resource. A second party (e.g., a service provider) may determine a challenge that may be provided to the first party. A valid solution to the challenge may be generated and provided for the request to be fulfilled.”
As noted by Amazon these challenges could be “a message and a seed, such that the seed may be used at least in part to cryptographically derive information that may be used to generate a solution to the challenge.”
“One way to mitigate against such attacks is to configure a service such that requests to the service incur some sort of expense, thereby providing a disincentive to participating in the attack,” the application reads further.
Amazon has basically generated Merkel Trees to encounter the various challenged associated with sluggish and time-consuming proof of work consensus and to make the DDoS attacks costly for a series of computers to perform it. Talking about Merkel Trees, it is a cryptographic tool which can be used to allot the blocks of data a unique identifier known as a hash. It is being done by manipulating the data stored inside the blocks. These hashes are later manipulated and combined again to create a parent hash. Computing power becomes necessary when it comes to planting Merkel Trees ‘performing such hashes could get very costly in terms of time, electricity, and resources. In turn, this makes DDoS attacks economically unfeasible.’
A similar system is also incorporated in Bitcoin blockchain that utilized Proof of Work consensus in which Merkle trees are being used to ensure that blocks mined on the network aren’t valid. This move shows that Amazon is more interested in ‘Blockchain, not Bitcoin’ and investing heavily in it.