Industries across the globe have been abuzz with plans for blockchain innovation, with use cases being presented all the time. None, however, have surpassed the number of patents filed or received by Bank of America.
Even IBM falls in behind the American bank, despite its many partnerships and projects geared toward widespread industrial use of distributed ledger technology.
According to the New York law firm specialising in intellectual property, Envision IP, Bank of America is responsible for a leading 43 patents out of a total 1045. IBM and Mastercard have been jointly the next most active, each commanding 27 patents.
Visa, TD Bank, Nasdaq and Fidelis are also among the blockchain patent high-flyers, but startups working with blockchain claim the lion’s share of the patents, accounting for a substantial 59 per cent. Coinbase stand out in this category with control of 13 blockchain patents.
Although laying claim to an inferior bag of blockchain payments when compared to Bank of America, IBM has been responsible for a major item of distributed ledger news recently. Following a long stint of planning and testing, IBM and the shipping titan, Maersk, are entering into a joint venture to deliver disruption to the dated processes used within the shipping industry.
Despite blockchain being a solid tech trend in 2017, a report conducted by 451 Research found that 289 per cent of enterprises in the process of using or evaluating the use of distributed ledger technology. Although promising in appearance this figure is deceptive, with only three per cent actually working with production applications.
In light of the surging excitement surrounding blockchain in 2017, the focus is on 2018 as the year in which widespread uptake of the technology could be triggered. The extensive patents banked by BofA and the work of IBM are indicative that blockchain may not be nascent for much longer.