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Ava Labs and Amazon’s partnership could “expand the pie” for blockchain

Ava Labs and Amazon's partnership could “expand the pie” for blockchain


The Amazon Web Services (AWS)-Avalanche “cooperation,” as it was carefully described last week, should almost immediately make it easy for developers to establish nodes on the Avalanche blockchain, including via “one-click node deployment.” 

Eventually, too, it might make it simpler for everyday businesses — i.e., non-crypto-related enterprises — and even individuals to establish their own subnets like smaller, private, layer-2 blockchains.

But perhaps the outstanding message from the Jan. 11 announcement is that the blockchain revolution isn’t just about cryptocurrencies. It’s also about things as prosaic as storing documents more securely and sensibly so they can be quickly retrieved during emergencies. It encompasses decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs), but it’s also about bringing “scalable blockchain solutions to enterprises and governments,” including such humdrum but important use cases as compliance management, Ava Labs, creator of Avalanche, said last week.

In a webinar on Jan. 12, which included both Ava Labs and Amazon Web Services representatives, Ava Labs vice president John Nahas, explained, “Crypto products or crypto infrastructures have been very geared up until this point to cater to crypto-native people. […] We need to expand the pie here. We need to expand the developers, the companies, the people who are going to be utilizing this technology in a mass-market way to bring in more people into this ecosystem.”

A ‘fake partnership’?

The Avalanche community generally welcomed the Amazon Web Services news, but others took issue with some of the language and claims, like Ava Labs CEO Emin Gün Sirer’s assertion that “This is a big deal. It’s not your grandfather’s ‘AWS partnership announcement.’”

Was this really a “partnership,” some questioned, or just a hyped-up “use of services” agreement? Maybe Amazon Web Services was really more “tech aggregator” than collaborator? Hadn’t other layer-1 chain developers, like Casper Labs, already “partnered” with the tech colossus to allow developers to directly deploy node infrastructures or design private networks via Amazon? Indeed, developers had been invited to “set up your own managed Ethereum node” on Amazon Managed Blockchain back in May 2021, no?

In a tweet, Alejandro Pastore, CEO of Pastore Capital, described the announcement as a “fake partnership between @avalancheavax and @amazon” where Ava Labs…

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