"Decentralization" is the idea that a database works like a network "that's shared with everybody in the world, where anyone and anything can connect to it," writes Vinay Gupta for Harvard Business Review. "Decentralization offers the promise of nearly friction-free cooperation between members of complex networks that can add value to each other by enabling collaboration without central authorities and middle men."
And this wonderful decentralization, where anyone and anything can connect to "the database," is why Bitcoin transactions take hours to confirm, the network is only capable of supporting a handful of transactions per second, etc. Don't even get me started on the laughs involved if "everybody in the world, anyone and anything" is keeping local copies of "the database," or enough of it to verify transactional integrity to a level necessary for shit like inventory management at Wal-Mart scale.
I can see it...it's happened before, on a smaller level and with the removal of a different choke point that required centralization of a different kind.
Anyone here remember "The Sharper Image"? They were stores...and a catalog...of incredibly cool stuff. This was before there was public access to the Internet or such a thing as a .com TLD; back then, you had to go to stores or catalogs to find things. As a result, for lack of a better way to put it, it was "harder to find stuff."
Today, if I wanted to buy...gird your loins...a "Slave Leia outfit in purple, size X-large," I would have to do research just to find out what kind of a store might carry something like that, and then find one such store within my physical reach. If I was really stretching, I could make a phone call to some other place and perhaps get them to ship it to me...sight unseen. (And hopefully, something like a Slave Leia outfit in size X-large would forever remain sight unseen, but I digress.)
Now, I simply go to Google, or some other search engine, and...gah! But yeah, I found it, in less time than it would have taken me to go grab my copy of the Yellow Pages.
As a result, The Sharper Image found themselves as a solution for which the problem no longer existed. Their shelves drew customers because it was the best way to get introduced to clever, interesting, or quirky high-end items that solved interesting problems or had unique appeal for some other reason. Before you could got into a Target and buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner (and before you could buy one online), they carried them, for example. They had the capital, business model and logistics to do this. But then, websites popped up (like ThinkGeek) which did what they did, but at an even more targeted scale...which was made possible because you no longer needed physical stores or a catalog to be accessible to your customers. The mass which made them successful was now a pair of cement shoes as they sank in the ocean of options.
So what exists now, as far as centralization? Amazon comes to mind. But note that Amazon is about logistics as much as anything else; hell, they don't even make sure that half of their "Apple" products actually came from Apple. And the hardest part of that logistics value proposition is payment handling. A lot of their products aren't shipped or handled by them, they just do the payment processing for the vendor. Anyone can go to a FedEx or UPS to ship something; heck, if you have a return to Amazon, that's what you end up doing. The main thing that Amazon, as a vendor, provides is the payment processing.
And yes, AWS is a real thing...I get that. But it's separate, and can exist outside of this concept of where the value proposition lies today vs. where it would lie in a blockchain-based economy. Indeed, it is the infrastructure that supports their payment processing, their shipping, their logistics, inventory, etc. But you could open up a blockchain-based vendor that competes with them...and run it on AWS, too. Amazon's main nemesis in the video content streaming space, for example, runs on AWS. It's called Netflix. :)