Alibaba and IBM have claimed the two top positions on a new list by iPR Daily which ranked global companies by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date, with Alibaba edging into first place with 90 patents, followed by IBM with 89.
In third place was Mastercard, with a total of 80 filings, followed by Bank of America and the People's Bank of China with 53 and 44, respectively.
According to the data, Chinese companies accounted for 56% of the worldwide total of 406 patents filed, with the US trailing behind with a share of just 22%.
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The data showed how attitudes toward blockchain are changing, as larger companies begin to view the technology as a valuable innovation tool, especially for addressing security concerns in finance.
Despite his open skepticism of bitcoin, Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, has spoken out in support of blockchain, saying it "must be used to solve data privacy, security and sustainability issues. It could change our world more than people can imagine".
Alibaba now accounts for more than 10% of patents filed globally. One such patents filed in June was a system for adjusting account balances over a blockchain to facilitate cross-border transactions that specifically involve a third-party payment vendor.
IBM has also recently announced its plan to demo a blockchain-based payment at Swift's annual operations conference in October in Sydney. IBM's Blockchain World Wire will provide banks with a method of simultaneously clearing and settling near real-time payment transactions across borders.
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