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Blockchain News

Alibaba Has Filed For More Than 10% Of The World’s Blockchain Patents



It seems like many tech giants including the names of Microsoft, IBM – as well as companies like Walmart – are ready to tap blockchain and use it in their everyday business operations. However, China’s potential for using the blockchain technology is best seen through one of the eCommerce leaders, Alibaba.

According to new research by Thomson Reuters, the Chinese eCommerce platform has filed more than 10% of the entire blockchain patents released in the world. More importantly, even 56% of all the (406) blockchain patents issued around the world in 2017 came from China, followed by the US with 22%.

The number of blockchain patent filings is also rising. According to the Nikkei Asian Review report, from the 134 in 2016 to the 406 in 2017, the data clearly shows that this battle is transforming into an intellectual property rights race that China seems to be winning.

Even though the US leads in terms of the overall number of blockchain patents filed, China is also closing this gap. While Alibaba is first on the list with 90 patents filed, IBM is at a close second position with 89 patents filed, followed by MasterCard and Bank of America, with 80 and 53 patents filed respectively.

What’s interesting is the fact that China has a total ban on all crypto trading and ICO fundraising which is active from earlier this year. However, this doesn’t stop the country from pursuing the blockchain technology through its best corporate giants.

Meanwhile, local Chinese media recently reported that the Wuchang municipal government in China’s Heilongjiang province has recently partnered with Alibaba in a blockchain partnership that supports the subsidiary companies Ant Financial and Alipay for the purpose of curbing food fraud and ensuring consumer trust.

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Blockchain News

Blockchain ‘Smart Money’ Trialed By Australia’s Science Agency And Commonwealth Bank

A new trial that was conducted by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is in the latest crypto news. In collaboration with the Data61 unit of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the trial proved that blockchain-powered smart money offers immense social and economic benefits for the insurance scheme in Australia - especially for people with disabilities. The proof of concept of this trial demonstrated that participants in Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) benefited from the increased choice and control using the smart money that they accessed via the prototype app. The participants and carers which were part of the trial benefited a lot, where the NDIS prototype app saved them between 1 hour and 15 hours per week, while the estimates said that the cost savings ranging between 0.3% and 0.8% of their revenues. As the senior principal researcher at Data61 said, this trial proved that the blockchain-powered smart money system could be applied in other public programs, stating:
“Our use of blockchain added new kinds of programmable behaviors to the smart money in the prototype system. This automation and flexibility could reduce friction and enable greater innovation in many payment environments and unlock network-effect benefits. This could include more directly connecting citizens to public policy programs, empowering people to optimize their spending through things like smart savings plans and smart diets, and reducing costs for businesses, including through the potential for self-taxing transactions.”
This is not the first blockchain trial where the CSIRO was involved. Previously, the organization collaborated with the University of Sydney, testing a blockchain application on the cloud infrastructure platform of Amazon Web Services - finding that the application was able to achieve a speed of 30,000 transactions per second.
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Blockchain News

Iran Gets Removed From SWIFT, Considers Switching To Crypto As Planned

Iran being officially removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication network by the U.S is in today’s crypto news. Iran’s Central Bank is not allowed to work in financial institutions around the world so this is why Iran is considering going crypto as soon as possible. The United States government imposed sanctions on Iran in May 2018 when they removed all the commercial banks in the country from the SWIFT network. This way, Iran is prevented from sending and receiving transactions from around the world. Steve Keen, an economist, and University professor criticized the U.S government for banning a central bank from the global financial system and said that no country should have such authority. He continued by saying:
 “The US has gone rogue, and cannot be allowed to dictate economic or political policy to the rest of the world. The sooner the rest of the world develops an alternative payments system – possibly working through SWIFT, but using a basket of currencies as the basis for a supra-national unit of exchange – the better. The USA is big enough to bully what should be an impartial means for monetary transactions between countries. This should not be possible.’’
However, the Iranian Parliamentary Commissioner of Economic Affairs, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, said that the country is working on a plan to involve cryptocurrencies as international payment methods cooperating with Russia. Already multiple businesses in Iran such as HotelsinIran which is a major booking platform started accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Many experts believe that this is a perfect way for cryptocurrencies to gain mass adoption in Iran.
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Blockchain News

Amazon Wins Two Patents, Aims On Improving Distributed Data Storage/Signatures Protection

Worldwide popular e-commerce giant Amazon hits the blockchain news today for winning two patents related to digital signatures integrity protection and distributed data storage improvement. Both of the patents were published today, November 13 by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first patent application was filed in April 2018 where a signature delegation method was outlined, for ‘’protecting the integrity of digital signatures and encrypted communications’’. This method will allow the distribution and validation of cryptographic keys that can be used only once. The encrypted keys are formed as a ‘’Merkle Tree’’ structure that represents a binary system of hashes built from the bottom up. Merkle Trees are a key element of blockchain systems since they allow huge amounts of data to be securely verified. As crypto media platform Hackernoon explained:
 “The Merkle Root summarizes all of the data in the related transactions and is stored in the block header. It maintains the integrity of the data. If a single detail in any of the transactions or the order of the transaction's changes, so does the Merkle Root. Using a Merkle tree allows for a quick and simple test of whether a specific transaction is included in the set or not.”
Amazon proposed the same Merkle Tree structure aiming to solve how to delegate signing authority from a central entity to multiple subordinates that will be authorized. The second patent that was first filed in December 2015, aims to solve issues related to distributed data storage. The patents suggest that these methods can help reduce storage redundancy but still allowing maximum availability. Amazon also filed for other crypto-specified inventions but we will find out more about them in the near future.
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Blockchain News

Singapore’s Central Bank Develops A Blockchain Settlement System

The official stock exchange in Singapore, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has recently partnered with the country's Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in order to develop a settlement system for tokenized assets that can work in different blockchain applications. The news spiraled in the latest crypto news and confirmed that the newly completed delivery versus payment (DvP) system uses smart contracts in order to simplify the post-trade process as well as shorten the settlement cycle. Aside from this, the system will make it easier for financial institutions to carry out the simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenized digital currencies and securities - as required under the DvP system. According to the official press release:
"The prototypes for the platform had demonstrated that financial institutions and investors are able to carry out the simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenised digital currencies and securities assets on different blockchain platforms.”
The new system will act as an extension of the Project Ubin which began as a collaborative project by MAS and Singapore's financial service industry in order to explore the possibilities of blockchain technology for clearing and settlement of payments and securities. As the head of technology at SGX Tinku Gupta said:
“Based on the unique methodology SGX developed to enable real-world interoperability of platforms, as well as the simultaneous exchange of digital tokens and securities, we have applied for our first-ever technology patent.”
SGX initially announced thep lan to work with MAS and others in order to utilize blockchain tech with the settlement system in August this year, saying that the group will examine Project Ubin and its existing protocols to determine how to leverage them for a DvP platform.
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