Amazon wins patent for data feed marketplace that could include bitcoin transactions

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday approved an Amazon.com subsidiary's September 2014 filing for a patent that can correlate different data streams and sell the combined feed in a marketplace.
  • In one example of a possible use case, the filing described "a data stream that publishes or includes global bitcoin transactions (or any crypto currency transaction)."
  • The second example discussed how a law enforcement agency may want to receive data on global bitcoin transactions that is linked to internet and physical shipping addresses.
Bitcoin
Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon Technologies has won a patent for a marketplace that offers data feeds, including bitcoin transactions.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday approved the Amazon.com subsidiary's September 2014 filing for a patent that can correlate different data streams and sell the combined feed as a subscription to people who want to track that data. The filing referenced bitcoin transactions twice as examples of possible products.

In the first case, the filing described "a data stream that publishes or includes global bitcoin transactions (or any crypto currency transaction)."

"For example, a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream. A group of telecommunications providers may subscribe downstream to the combined data stream and be able to correlate the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of the transactions to countries of origin. Government agencies may be able to subscribe downstream and correlate tax transaction data to help identify transaction participants."

The second example discussed how a law enforcement agency may want to receive data on global bitcoin transactions that is linked to internet and physical shipping addresses.

"For example, a law enforcement agency may be a customer and may desire to receive global bitcoin transactions, correlated by country, with ISP data to determine source IP addresses and shipping addresses that correlate to bitcoin addresses. The agency may not want additional available enhancements such as local bank data records. The streaming data marketplace may price this desired data out per GB (gigabyte), for example, and the agency can start running analytics on the desired data using the analysis module."

Amazon said it takes customer privacy "very seriously," a spokesman said Friday.

"We never sell our customers' personal information, as you can see in our privacy policy," he said, "and we would never use the technology described in this patent to sell our customers' personal information."