China has taken the lead in the number of blockchain patents filed surpassing those filed in the United States of America, reports Hard Fork
Data pulled from the World Intellectual Property Organization’s websites has indicated that last year, despite a huge drop in crypto prices, blockchain patents were at their all-time high. As noted by Hard Fork, blockchain patents published in 2018 were in excess of 1000 while those published in 2017 stood at around 971.
The data shows that after the birth of Bitcoin in 2008, patents around cryptocurrencies and the technology that underpins them started gaining momentum 4 years later in 2012.
Despite its hard stance on digital currencies, China is leading the patents race with 790 approvals followed closely by the United States with 762 approvals. South Korea, Australia, Canada, India, U.K, Singapore and Japan were next in the line with 161, 136, 67,67, 36, 28, and 12 blockchain patents respectively.
Companies captured as having the highest number of blockchain patents included nChain, IBM, Coinplug, Alibaba, and Mastercard. These companies filed between 60 and 203 patents. Other top companies that were captured in the data include Microsoft, Intel, Bank of America, PBoC’s Digital Currency Research Institute, Visa, and Accenture.
Interestingly, out of the 2,747 published patents, only 620 patents did not have a title with ‘blockchain’ on them. Additionally, patents focusing on Bitcoin or with the term ‘ digital/virtual/ crypto currency’ on their tittle were slightly more than 250.
According to Hard Fork:
Despite the fact that digital currencies and blockchain technology were first designed to circumvent centralized organizations, those very entities are the ones driving patent submissions in an attempt to improve their bottom line.
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