Forward thinking companies are aware of what the future of blockchain holds. We have witnessed, in the previous few months, a plethora of patents being applied for and won pertaining to this technology. Here we take a brief look a few of these patents.
Based out of Texas, Factom is one of the most developed blockchain companies around. They have received adoption in multiple industries to date, and have various impressive partnerships. Although their platform has endless applications, one thing remains constant – Factom promotes Data Integrity.
At the beginning of August, 2018, Factom filed for a United States Patent. This filing details a process for verifying multi-sig documents on a blockchain.
In the abstract of their patent filing, Factom states, “Authentication of electronic document is based on multiple digital signatures incorporated into a blockchain. Structured data, metadata, and instructions may be hashed to generate the multiple digital signatures for distribution via the blockchain. Any peer receiving the blockchain may then verify an authenticity of an electronic document based on any one or more of the multiple digital signatures incorporated into the blockchain.”
Payment processor giant MasterCard was awarded their own blockchain based patent on June 28, 2018. Looking to stay ahead of the curve and not be left behind, they applied for a patent in 2016 detailing the process through which anonymous purchased could be made.
With anonymity focused cryptocurrencies rising to prominence (zCash, Monero), it is becoming a crowded space. These cryptocurrency offerings have come under fire as of late, due to their potential misuse. The intentions of MasterCard are not fully clear, but it is obvious they see the need for such coins to exist. They simply need to be implemented in such a way that the public can benefit from the anonymity, while governments still accept their existence.
In the abstract of their patent filing, MasterCard states, “A method for posting of anonymous directed transaction includes: storing a plurality of entity profiles, each including an entity identifier and a secret value; receiving a transaction request from a first entity, the request including transaction data and a specific entity identifier associated with a second entity; identifying a specific entity profile that includes the specific entity identifier; generating a first hash value via application of one or more hashing algorithms to the transaction data; generating a second hash value via application of one of more hashing algorithms to a combination of the first hash value and the secret value included in the identified specific entity profile; and posting the first hash value and second hash value to a publicly accessible data source.”
This company has been leading the charge for a good while now with regards to blockchain. With over $160 million invested in blockchain ventures over the last year, IBM is clearly sold on the merits of the technology.
In the past few months, the company has been awarded not one, not two, but 6 patents relating to blockchain. More than this, they have applied for even more. While news of the successful launch of their platform with Maersk was breaking, the company subtly applied for yet another patent.
In the abstract of their most recent patent filing, IBM states, “Disclosed aspects relate to managing a database management system (DBMS). A central database to include a set of central data may be structured with respect to the DBMS. A blockchain database which is linked with the central database may be constructed with respect to the DBMS. A set of blockchain data may be established in the blockchain database corresponding to the set of central data of the central database. An access request may be received with respect to the DBMS. In response to receiving the access request, both the central database and the blockchain database may be maintained.”
A Diverse Cast
It is clear that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are permeating many industries. Here we have briefly shown a company born within the industry (Factom), a company that the technology will replace (MasterCard), and a company looking to adopt its functionality (IBM). Regardless of the company blockchain and its many applications has something to offer.
These few company are only a drop in a bucket. We have also seen patent filings form the likes of many others – including, but not limited to,
As the technology becomes more commonplace, look for even more patent filings, as companies race to gain their footing within the industry.