Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments.
Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this week and appears to outline a system that uses Proof-of-Work to prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
“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.
Planting a Merkle Tree
Amazon proposes to use Merkle Trees to present a Proof-of-Work challenge and make it too costly for a series of computers to perform a DDoS attack.
But what’s a Merkle Tree? In short, Merkle Trees are cryptographic tools where blocks of data are manipulated to give them a unique identifier also known as a hash.
These hashes are then manipulated again to create a parent hash. Parent hashes are always a combination of two or more child hashes. It’s layers on layers of hashed data.
Since computing power is required to build a Merkle Tree, performing such hashes could get very costly in terms of time, ..