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China overtakes US in global patent applications



China currently leads the industry in Blockchain patent applications. As much as the country was already ahead in embracing blockchain, the recent endorsement by the Chinese president Xi Jinping has had much more influence on blockchain adoption. When it comes to comparison with the US which was once believed to have blockchain dominance, China is leaps ahead. This is according to the recent report that was done by the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).

China takes the lead accounting for up to 48% of the total patents application as compared to the US which is only at 22%. The reports indicate that the figures are only from a period of 2013 to December 20, 2018. The percentage now is probably higher than that since the first quarter of 2019 has received up to 2014 patent applications from China. China has faced a surge in blockchain companies and in June 2019, there were up to 27,784 companies registered. Other countries that are also at the forefront of patent applications apart from the US and China are South Korea, Canada, and the UK.

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From China’s dominance in patent applications, it is clear that it quickly embracing blockchain technology and will have a great influence on the sector. The Chinese central bank has played a vital role in supporting blockchain adoption by providing a blockchain-based trade finance platform to provide SMEs with finance. The cryptocurrency research lab set up by the People’s Bank of China has also helped om promoting the technology. As of August 2018, blockchain accounts for a total of 1% of the annual returns of the bank.

The companies that take the lead in patent applications are Alibaba group with a total of 512 applications, nChain with a total of 468 and IBM with a total of 248. This is according to a report done by Nikkei. Alibaba has used blockchain in many of its applications such as the Alipay which is powered by the blockchain.

Companies are aggressive in patent blockchain application as it can inconvenience them in business operation and face obstacles according to patent attorney Hideto Kono.  Once a company has patent rights, they can also enjoy on cross-licensing opportunities.

According to a prediction that was done by the International Data Corp, the global market for blockchain solutions will hit $15.9 billion by 2023. The financial and manufacturing sector will take the lead accounting to up to 50% of the total blockchain adoption.  Already, finance is widely adopting the technology due to low transaction costs, security and more transparency.

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