The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the escalating concerns over data privacy, particularly in industries handling sensitive information like healthcare and finance, the increasing adoption of blockchain technology across various sectors and growing importance of technologies such as cryptographic protocols like zero-knowledge proofs and secure multi-party computation algorithms, drives the demand for more advanced and secure computational methods. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Blockchain in technology: multiparty computation blockchainsBuy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Multiparty computation blockchains is a key innovation area in blockchain

Multiparty computation blockchains utilize blockchain technology for secure collaborative computing, where multiple parties work together to compute a specific function while safeguarding their individual inputs. This integration amalgamates the strengths of blockchain, including security, transparency, and immutability, with the capabilities of multiparty computation.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 490+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of multiparty computation blockchains.

Key players in multiparty computation blockchains – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to multiparty computation blockchains

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 63 Unlock Company Profile
Royal Bank of Canada 39 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 148 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 67 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 1252 Unlock Company Profile
Salesforce 43 Unlock Company Profile
SAP 40 Unlock Company Profile
Akamai Technologies 40 Unlock Company Profile 74 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 133 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 39 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 72 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 45 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 36 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 122 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 654 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 526 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 313 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 58 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 185 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 96 Unlock Company Profile
Coinplug 78 Unlock Company Profile
nChain 1638 Unlock Company Profile
Securrency 41 Unlock Company Profile
Algorand 50 Unlock Company Profile
Anchor Labs 80 Unlock Company Profile
TripleBlind 52 Unlock Company Profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 61 Unlock Company Profile
R3 39 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in multiparty computation blockchains, nChain is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at describing a method for transferring access to a digital asset that involves each of several second participants receiving a first blockchain transaction from a first participant. The first participant possesses the initial private key of a first private-public key pair in a cryptography system, while each participant holds their respective share of a second private key in a second private-public key pair within the same system. This first blockchain transaction bears the signature of the first private key. Subsequently, each second participant verifies the signature. They then apply their respective first share to the first blockchain transaction, resulting in a corresponding second share for a second blockchain transaction, which is signed with the second private key. For a signature to be possible, a first threshold number of second shares is required, rendering it inaccessible with fewer than this threshold number. The signature is generated by combining the first threshold number of second shares from the first participant and a majority of the second participants. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Alibaba and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.

In terms of application diversity,  Toronto-Dominion Bank leads the pack, while TripleBlind and R3 stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, nChain held the top position, followed by Alibaba and TripleBlind. 

Multiparty computation blockchains enable multiple parties to collaboratively compute functions while keeping their inputs confidential. This innovation addresses critical concerns regarding data privacy, particularly in industries dealing with sensitive information. By combining the strengths of blockchain technology, including security and transparency, with multiparty computation, these blockchains establish a powerful framework for secure collaborative computations. This technology has the potential to revolutionize how sensitive information is handled, offering a trustworthy and decentralized solution in an increasingly digitalized world.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Blockchain.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.