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Crypto Ready: China Leads Blockchain Patent Race in 2017


Though China has been actively banning cryptocurrency exchanges and even doing a witch hunt against related activities such as crypto mining, China is still ahead in terms of filing blockchain patent applications last year. According to the data collected by Thomson Reuters from World Intellectual Property Organization database, it shows that in 2017, more than 406 blockchain related patent applications came from China. In addition to this, there are a variety of patent applications from China.

China has filed 225 blockchain patents that year which was a significant increase from the 59 patents that were filed from 2016. The US, on the other hand, was able to file 91 blockchain patents in 2017 followed by Australia with 13.

According to Alex Batteson, “Companies are moving fast in order to protect their ideas in new areas of technological development—long before the technology actually goes to market”

He also added that “Patents are also important for companies to attract all-important investment”. This only means that a lot of businesses are already looking at the possibility that other parties might claim and capitalize on their idea.

If you will look at the top nine firms that have been filing blockchain technology related patents from 2012 to 2017, six were from China with Beijing technology Development as one of them. However, in terms of company that is most active in filing patents, it was US MasterCard that was most active with 25 applications while Lichtenstein’s Chain Holdings filed 18.

Is China Adopting Crypto Tech Eventually?

The question is if China is eventually going to adopt cryptocurrencies in the future? Will regulators loosen their stance when it comes to digital currencies? Ripple recently announced that they are confident that they’ll be able to penetrate the Chinese market right before the year ends.

Sagar Sarbhai who is Ripple’s head of government and regulatory relations for Asia Pacific announced that “As we speak, our team is strategizing about entering the market, but it’s still very early days”. What Ripple offers is the ability for banks to send cross-border payments with end-to-end track but still without the use of cryptocurrency.

PBOC Opening Up Chinese Market to Foreign Investors

People’s Bank of China (PBOC) decided to open up the Chinese market to foreign investors that can go into direct competition against local Chinese firms. This is significant news especially if you will look at the cryptocurrency market. The new head of the Chinese Central Bank, Yi Gang, mentioned that Bitcoin provides freedom to anyone who uses it. And as for analysts, they have seen these comments to be a positive note in the emerging crypto market in China.

According to analyst Wei Chun’s post on Medium, he mentioned that Chinese government is still going to control crypto activity despite the positive approach that they’ve been doing towards blockchain tech.

“In summary, the Chinese government has shown a positive attitude towards blockchain technology despite its enforcement on cryptocurrency and mining operations. China wants to control cryptocurrency, and China will get control. The repeated enforcement by the regulators were meant to protect its citizens from financial risk of cryptocurrencies and limit capital outflow”.


Janneke Eriksen

Janneke is a writing ninja and has vast experience in journalism, specifically in the crypto space. As a blockchain believer and avid Bitcoin fan, she’s incredibly excited to share to our readers the latest news around so they are always updated wherever they are.