In an exciting development, Amazon has won two patents related to each other, one for improving the distributed data storage and the other for protecting the integrity of digital signatures. Both the patents were published on November 13 by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The First Patent
Reportedly, Amazon filed one of the patents in April that outlines a system of ‘signature delegation’ to protect the encrypted communication by letting the user generate, validate and distribute cryptographic keys and revoke them whenever needed.
The system makes use of Merkle Tree structure to arrange the keys in binary hashes with a bottom-up approach. Merkle Tree as explained by Hackernoon, a tech media platform:
“The Merkle Root summarises all of the data in the related transactions and is stored in the block header. It maintains the integrity of the data. If a single detail in any of the transactions or the order of the transactions changes, so does the Merkle Root. Using a Merkle tree allows for a quick and simple test of whether a specific transaction is included in the set or not.”
As stated in the patent filing, “the signature authority provides a key-distribution service that distributes blocks of cryptographic keys to authorised signing delegates. An authorised signing delegate contacts the key-distribution service and requests a block of cryptographic keys.”
The Second Patent
The second patent was filed by Amazon in December 2015 and is related to the issues associated with distributed data storage and proposes the usage of a grid encoding technique in a bid to minimise storage redundancy and to provide maximum durability and availability to the system.
It is worth mentioning here that similar efforts were made by various countries like Swarm, Sia Network, Filecoin and others to solve related issues using blockchain technology and distributed data storage but none of them has proved to be 100% efficient till date.
In addition to winning patents in the blockchain, distributed data storage, and cryptography fields, Amazon was recently also awarded a patent for a streaming data marketplace which would allow the users to fetch crypto transaction data in real time.