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 wallets. Buy 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|
|Alipay.com||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.