A patent grants its holder unique rights to an invention, equivalent to a chunk of know-how, for a sure time period. While designed as a way of defending the mental property of inventors, the system shouldn’t be with out its critics who imagine that patenting deters innovation and wastes assets.
Consider crypto founding fathers like Satoshi Nakamoto, people and teams who place concepts forward of revenue and are extra aligned with open supply ideas than submitting patents and intently guarding their secrets and techniques — the one secret Satoshi guarded was his/its identification. It might come as a shock, then, to be taught that within the final decade the corporate that has amassed extra cryptocurrency patents than every other — and who, to some, appears to be the antithesis of all the pieces decentralized forex stands for — is Bank of America.
According to Bitcoin Patent Report, within the 9 years since Bitcoin’s first block was mined, over 2,000 associated patents have been filed. In the cryptocurrency’s first few years the variety of patents was low — averaging beneath 50 a yr. By 2015 that quantity started to extend, and by 2016 was rising exponentially. In 2017, 1,250 cryptocurrency-related patents had been filed.
Some of the businesses who function within the prime ten are to be anticipated, equivalent to Bitflyer and IBM, whose curiosity in blockchain is effectively documented. The computing large has filed a complete of 34 cryptocurrency associated patents, however is outpaced by South Korean brokerage Coinplug, which is third on the checklist with 39.
Others on the checklist are extra surprising, both as a result of they’ve publicly expressed little curiosity in cryptocurrency, or are usually not generally related to such cutting-edge know-how. It is smart that MasterCard would have an curiosity in digital cost programs, for instance, however it’s shocking to see them ranked ninth for cryptocurrency associated patents, with 21 filings. The best shock of all is reserved for the highest spot, which as famous above is claimed by Bank of America, having at the least 45 patents filed.
Bitcoin Patent Report additionally revealed that 50% of all crypto-related patents come from China (910), adopted by the U.S. (676), the U.Ok. (112), and South Korea (98). Regardless of the deserves of every patent, and the ethical case for his or her very existence, they point out an unprecedented degree of curiosity in Bitcoin and blockchain applied sciences.