nChain Receives Approval for Blockchain Smart Contracts Patent; Will Ethereum Start Paying Fees?


The number of blockchain-oriented patents has been on the rise in the past two years. Craig Wright’s blockchain and crypto research company, nChain, is among those at the forefront in filing the most. The firm had earlier filed for a blockchain-enforced smart contract patent which was recently granted to them.

The 60-page patent is can be found on Google patents; it basically outlines the fundamentals of the invention and to what limit it can be leveraged for development. This has been a two-year journey for nChain having filed for the patent back in February 2017.

nChain's Patent Portfolio

nChain has over 800 filed patents as of press date; these include smart contracts and scaling solutions such as Lightning. The number of approved patents stands at above 200 while the pipeline has 1450 awaiting to be filed.

The Nov.11 nChain approved patent is dubbed ‘Registry and Automated Management Method for Blockchain-enforced Smart Contracts.’ nChain noted that the new patent is an extension of an already existing cryptography-oriented patent “Determining a common secret for the secure exchange of information and hierarchical, deterministic cryptographic keys”.

Craig Wright, nChain’s founder, has said that the firm will allow developers to use their patented blockchain designs at fee. However, Bitcoin SV developers will be exempted from any form of payment. This patent approach by Craig might gradually shape the blockchain industry.

Bitcoin SV Trolls Ethereum

Other players running smart contracts on blockchain platforms have been on the receiving end since the nChain patent was approved. Ethereum, in particular, was trolled by Bitcoin SV advocates asking what they would like to be charged as fees for using the technology.

Questions on its applicability have however been raised given that Ethereum was already using smart contract technology. Furthermore, most jurisdictions protect original innovations through the first-to-file registry ecosystem.

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