Bitcoin Patent Report reveals that over 2,000 related patents have been filed since Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined nine years ago. The number of patents was low, in the cryptocurrency’s early years, averaging under 50 a year. However, by 2015 that figure began to pick up and by 2016 was growing exponentially. A total of 1,250 cryptocurrency patents were filed last year. This demonstrates the extent to which corporations have finally caught on to bitcoin’s huge potential. Some of the companies who have previously shown interest in blockchain and whose names feature in the top ten such as Bitflyer and IBM, are to be expected. The computing giant has filed a total of 34 cryptocurrency related patents. But it is outplaced by the South Korean brokerage Coinplug, which is third on the list with 39 cryptocurrency related patents. The greatest surprise of all is reserved for the top spot, which is claimed by Bank of America. BOA has no less than 45 patents.
Principles in Cryptocurrency
Names like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, and Nick Szabo are the first to spring to mind when one thinks of cryptocurrency developers. The only secret Satoshi guarded was his identity. The Individuals who value principles more than profit tend to be more aligned with open source principles. They don’t necessarily file patents or closely guard their secrets. The company with the most cryptocurrency patents, Bank of America, with more patents than any other company in the last decade is in many bitcoin enthusiasts’ eyes the antithesis of everything decentralized currency stands for.
From China (910) comes 50% of all crypto-related patents, next in line is U.S. (676), followed by the U.K. (112), and South Korea (98) Bitcoin Patent Report reveals. This indicates the unprecedented level of interest in bitcoin and the blockchain ecosystem regardless of the moral case for their very existence or the merits of each patent. Everyone now has a stake in the game, from insurrectionary cypherpunks to the largest corporations.