Bank of America has emerged as the company that has the most cryptocurrency patents in the world.
The second-largest bank in the U.S. has so far applied for or received 45 patents for blockchain, the ledger technology used for verifying and recording virtual currency transactions, according to Bitcoin Patent Report.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender started filing patents for innovations in blockchain and cryptocurrency in 2013, but has become more aggressive in the past two years. The Bank filed 23 new patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016 alone.
Bank of America owns 27 patents containing the word “blockchain,” 36 that include “bitcoin” and 39 that include “cryptocurrency.”
Despite being the top crypto patent holder, Bank of America has made it clear that it is “all for” blockchain, but “not going to participate” in bitcoin. In an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan said “We don’t trade it, we don’t have anything to do with it, because that’s really up to people to make that decision, we’re not going to participate in it.”
With 42 patent applications, ETIC Holdings is the second top player in cryptocurrency patents. All of them were filed in 2016, mostly with the British Patent Office.
Coinplug, which provides a Digital Asset Exchange platform, is third in the list with 39 patent applications.
Alibaba, International Business Machines Corp., and Mastercard Inc. are some of the other companies whose names feature in the top ten.
Interestingly, several Chinese companies can be found in the top 10 list. The geographic information from the patent databases reveals that almost 50 percent of the total number of patent applications in the field of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies originates from China.