A patent that has begun to circulate, published Tuesday, reveals that Amazon may be looking into crypto-related systems, like Proof of Work and Merkle Trees. The document, filed under the jurisdiction describes a system that has a “first party” complete computational work to gain access to a computing resource. The document’s abstract also mentions hash trees, which are also referred to as Merkle Trees
Sound familiar? Well, that’s because Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other blockchains use a very similar system. Funnily enough, however, the patent did not mention “cryptocurrency”, “blockchain”, or “Bitcoin” at all, and instead described the Proof of Work system in immense detail, specifically touching on how it could be used to mitigate DOS (denial of service) attacks from bad actors. Indeed, Proof of Work was once proposed as a way to ensure emails aren’t spam.