IBM comes in just barely behind Alibaba with 89 blockchain patents filed versus the Chinese corporation’s 90 as the two tech companies try to edge one another out for number one on iPR Daily’s patient-based list just published on August 31.
To create its top blockchain patent list, iPR Daily has gathered information from patent databases and the International Patent System regarding European countries, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., and China’s latest technological innovations.
The U.S. and China have notoriously differing stances on cryptocurrency. China continuing to embrace and fund blockchain patents and technology innovations while banning cryptocurrency mining and digital currency use country-wide. The U.S., on the other hand, is considered one of the most ICO-friendly countries to date.
Despite China’s still rigid stance against crypto, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is in the top five banks, worldwide, to adopt blockchain technology rivaling Bank of America’s 53 blockchain patents with a notable 44. China’s Communist Party even published a recent book about blockchain to help educate government officials about development and adoption.
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is in line with PBoC’s and the Chinese Communist Party’s cryptocurrency sentiment and blockchain support, throwing his weight into patenting and publically stating his skepticism where cryptocurrency is concerned.
Meanwhile state-side, all bets are off when it comes to both blockchain and cryptocurrency. IBM is leading the pack with vertical decentralized supply chain solutions and it’s recent $740 million-contract with the Australian government to build their nationwide blockchain platform. IBM projects that the Australian blockchain will revolutionize commerce and bring economic growth.
iPR Daily’s report comes at the seemingly perfect time as a big motivator for blockchain developers. We are just beginning to see the next wave post early adoption and it is easy to lose faith in the bear market. Blockchain is shifting from conception to adoption as businesses and consumers are realizing the potential for the technology to inevitably penetrate daily life and improve nearly all processes across industries. More products are set to move into beta or go live in 2018 than ever before like Alibaba’s recently released payment plan designed to settle financial transactions.
The differences between IBM’s approach and Alibaba’s to blockchain development is not dissimilar and both should be celebrated by blockchain adoption enthusiasts. While shades of nationalism continue to play a supporting role in Web 3.0 journalism, blockchain technology inherently works to challenge national economic competition and trade wars. However, much of blockchain development and cryptocurrency markets are currently dictated or influenced, if not embedded in centralized government and political socio-economic agendas.