articleStartImage

Although South Korea remains one of the world’s largest markets for cryptocurrencies, it is far behind its main competitors when it comes to blockchain innovation. This view is shared by the  Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), which notes that the country has filed only 8% of the world’s blockchain-related patents, the Korea Herald reports.

Meanwhile, the United States and China together account for 78%, according to a statement from KIPO.

“Now is the golden time to pre-emptively acquire standard essential patents in blockchain as the technology is yet in its initiative stage. KIPO will focus on helping research and development entities build big data-based patent strategies and acquire SEPs,” commented Kim Yong-sun, head of KIPO’s intellectual property policy department.

Among the entities that have filed the most patents is the People’s Bank of China, which came out on top with over 60 applications in 2017, according to a report by the People’s Daily.

Of course, quantity does not imply quality. When looking at overseas applications, South Korea accounted for 23.23%, way above China’s 2.97%.

Overseas patent applications are a good way of determining whether a patent has game-changing potential.

Contradicting the earlier report by the People’s Daily, KIPO concludes that the top patent pusher was actually Bank of America.

Coinplug, a South Korean fintech company, came in second place, while IBM and China’s Bubi Network ranked third and fourth, respectively.

Perhaps one of the most notable patents to come out of Bank of America is a technology that would automatically convert between different cryptocurrencies.

The bank made this service available to its enterprise customers early in December 2017.

The sophisticated system not only provides exchange rates for various cryptocurrencies but also converts them by using intermediary “float accounts” that are used to sell the amount of crypto the customer specifies and store the fiat equivalent.