ICBC Filed Its First Blockchain Patent

On April 27 Beijing– The State Intellectual Property Office of China announced a patent application submitted by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The document shows that ICBC submitted an application in November 2017 for a patent of the company’s blockchain technology for identifying digital certificates and storing data.

The patent is the first patent related to the blockchain submitted by ICBC to the State Intellectual Property Office. Chinese are constantly required to submit the same proof to different entities – such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and diplomas. The patent aims to provide such service for their customers.

The patent matches user’s authorization with a specific digital certificate. After authorization, the data will be encrypted in a blockchain. Different entities that may use the certificate can update the distributed ledger at any time. If any entity needs to decrypt data, it should obtain authorization from user. The patent will therefore simplify the operation process.

Spokesman of ICBC stated:

“In the past, users had to obtain a certificate from the authority that issued the certificate, and then manually complete the certificate and present the certificate to the entity that needs them. This process is very inefficient and can easily cause issues such as forged certificates.”

ICBC has started the research and development of “a financial product trading platform based on blockchain technology” as early as the second half of 2016. Trial operation of the platform has been conducted internally and might be open to external users later. The annual report released by ICBC at the beginning of April this year shows that ICBC has completed the prototype of the financial product trading platform based on blockchain technology. This system provides customers with peer-to-peer transfer and trading of financial assets based on the traditional trading model.

In addition, ICBC participated in the research of the central-bank-issued digital currency and the blockchain-based digital bill trading platform. ICBC’s blockchain and biometric laboratories also launched the first self-controllable blockchain platform in the fourth quarter of last year, which has helped the successful implementation of such projects as poverty alleviation in Guizhou and Gongyinju.

Taking poverty alleviation in Guizhou as an example, in order to solve the problems that plagued government poverty alleviation management, with the support of the Guizhou provincial government, ICBC worked with Guizhou Guimin Group to achieve cross-chain integration through the banking financial services chain and the government’s administrative approval chain for poverty alleviation funds. Mutual trust in information has enabled the “transparent use,” “precise delivery,” and “efficient management” of poverty alleviation funds with the “tracing back to the source and not tampered with” of blockchain technology.

It is reported that the Bank of China, another Chinese state-owned commercial bank, submitted a blockchain patent application, claiming that it can better enhance the data storage and processing capabilities of the blockchain.

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