The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies for transactions and investments, the desire for financial privacy and control over digital assets, and the need for secure storage solutions to protect against cyber theft and hacking attempts, as well as growing importance of technologies such as public-key cryptography, cryptographic hash functions, secure enclave/trusted execution environment (TEE) technology and multi-factor (MFA) authentication. Crypto wallets may also rely on secure communication protocols, such as transport layer security (TLS), to establish encrypted connections between the wallet software and external services, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of data transmission. 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: crypto walletsBuy 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.

Crypto wallets is a key innovation area in blockchain

Crypto wallets are digital wallets utilized for storing, sending, and receiving digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. These wallets employ encryption technology to safeguard the user’s funds from cybercriminals and unauthorized access. Depending on user preferences, crypto wallets can be categorized as either software or hardware-based solutions.

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 670 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of crypto wallets.

Key players in crypto wallets – 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 crypto wallets

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Coinbase 72 Unlock Company Profile
Moneygram International 38 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) 222 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of China 34 Unlock Company Profile 374 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electronics 34 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association 35 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) 55 Unlock Company Profile
Fujitsu 30 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Technologies 43 Unlock Company Profile
Line 29 Unlock Company Profile
MasterCard Asia/Pacific 38 Unlock Company Profile
MasterCard International 446 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia Technologies 39 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal 62 Unlock Company Profile
Visa International Service Association 250 Unlock Company Profile
Metaps Plus 32 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Technology Licensing 56 Unlock Company Profile
OneConnect Financial Technology 47 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Services 112 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group Services 110 Unlock Company Profile
tZERO IP 56 Unlock Company Profile
BBVA 29 Unlock Company Profile
Block 57 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 35 Unlock Company Profile
FMR 33 Unlock Company Profile
Radware 33 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 1007 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 74 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 93 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 43 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 37 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 433 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 41 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 130 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 45 Unlock Company Profile
Ripple Labs 48 Unlock Company Profile
Coinplug 150 Unlock Company Profile
nChain 1270 Unlock Company Profile
TraDove 30 Unlock Company Profile
TBCASoft 50 Unlock Company Profile
Algorand 96 Unlock Company Profile
Anchor Labs 41 Unlock Company Profile
New York Digital Investment Group 32 Unlock Company Profile
Bizmodeline 468 Unlock Company Profile
Hangzhou FUZAMEI Technology 74 Unlock Company Profile
Eluvio 45 Unlock Company Profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 55 Unlock Company Profile
Ballet Global 29 Unlock Company Profile
R3 29 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Blockchain technology company nChain is the leading patent filer in crypto wallets. The company’s patents are aimed at invention related to the fields of tokenization, blockchain and smart contract technologies. It provides a technical arrangement which simplifies the automated management of contracts. The invention comprises a method and system which use a computer-based repository for storage of the contract. The contract is then represented by a transaction on the blockchain. Metadata within the transaction's script includes a hash of the contract and a means of identifying its location within the repository. The transaction also includes an unspent output (UTXO) which indicates its status as an open (not terminated) contract.

The contract is terminated by spending the output at a later point in time, for example, using a Check Lock Time Verify (CLTV) functionality. By combining this concept with other techniques and computing components, the invention can provide a powerful mechanism for implementing various tasks such as renewing or rolling over the contract, or dividing it into sub-contracts or conditions.

Furthermore, as the status and existence of the contract is evidenced via the blockchain, this provides a permanent, publicly visible, and non-alterable record of the contract.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Alibaba and Bizmodeline.

By geographic reach, eBay leads the pack, followed by Radware and Toronto-Dominion Bank. In terms of application diversity, Eluvio holds the top position, followed by Ballet Global and eBay.

Crypto wallets can provide secure storage and management of digital currencies, offering users full control over their funds without relying on third parties. They enable seamless transactions, protect against unauthorised access and fraud, and empower individuals to participate in the decentralised and borderless world of cryptocurrencies.

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.