Blockchain technology has been with us for about ten years now. Distributed ledger technology has given rise to Cryptocurrency solutions. Some of these are more advanced than others. Blockchain’s popularity made people and companies worldwide develop new technologies. This is mainly for the purpose to leverage it. A few years back, reports said that Nchain and Bank of America (BoA) were buying up all blockchain-related patents and digital assets. They realized how valuable this technology is and the sort of impact it would have on the tech industry as a whole.

Now it’s 2020, and the race to secure blockchain patents is at its all-time high. Although still running, these two companies have slid down the ranks in terms of blockchain patent holding. The Alibaba group was the top company in terms of blockchain patent filing.

This is according to the figures established by Kisspatent. Together with IBM, these two companies have most of the 2020’s DTL patents, which is quite significant. By itself, the Alibaba Group holds 10x the number of patents IBM does, which is quite legendary.

What’s more amusing is that 2020 has already seen about three times more patents in blockchain technology than it did two years ago. Closely tailing IBM is Walmart, MasterCard, and Nchain. The report also showed something peculiar. The distributed ledger-specific firms weren’t filing as many patents as Fortune500 companies were. This means that in the entire list of firms who have gobbled up most of the patents, only one (Nchain) can be described as a pure blockchain firm.

Areas of Blockchain Patent Application

Essentially, blockchain technology is the foundation for decentralized interactions. It requires little to no trust at all to operate. Also, it forms the underlying technology for Bitcoin. Hence,  making it a favorite for many people looking to delve into the world of peer to peer transactions. As such, it’s a prime candidate for applications dealing with insurance, finance, logistics, health-care, and so much more. Unsurprisingly, the most popular category in these patent applications was fin-tech applications. These include apps that support financial transactions over blockchain, using, storing, or exchanging cryptocurrencies.

The next popular category is apps dealing with decentralized business technologies and general solutions deployed over blockchain networks. These patents have reportedly accounted for about 10% of all patent applications in 2020. Other popular categories include health-care, business services with a monetary component, general business service, and traditional banking services.

Countries with the Most Blockchain Patents

According to the same study by Kisspatent, the U.S is the leading country in blockchain patents. The region has a whopping 2112 patents on its books. The number two slot goes to the Cayman islands who have 350 blockchain patents. This is not a surprise at all since the subsidiary company of Alibaba that handles all its blockchain patents is headquartered in Cayman. The U.S. and Cayman islands are then followed by Canada securing 118, Japan with 108, South Korea with 87, and finally China with 77 blockchain patents.

Chinese technology firms are listed in the top 10 companies dealing with blockchain patents. But they aren’t exclusively handling distributed ledger technology. There is a reason why the Chinese filed so many patents this year. These companies know that the more patents they file, the harder it is for them to be blocked from accessing specific markets.

Innovation in Blockchain Technology

We used blockchain technology to create Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency forms. But its applications are far-reaching and useful. We can develop new technologies to make our lives that much more comfortable and fun to live by combining innovations and blockchain technology. Today, the innovations around blockchain revolve around developing original methodologies into more straightforward, easier processes. This means that the innovation will overlap with cryptocurrencies at some point, thus bringing forth the need for patents.