The Week In Bitcoin — Issue #66: The Blockchain Patent Wars Are Coming

The Blockchain Patent Wars Are Coming

Last week Accenture announced that they’re looking to patent an editable blockchain. In spite of the fact that the actual thing they’re trying to patent is obviously stupid, it does highlight the often underdiscussed issue of patents in the blockchain space.

Many are bracing themselves for the blockchain patent trolls. For example, Coinbase has filled a number of ‘defensive’ patents which they warrant won’t be used offensively against other startups. Whether you believe this or not, it’s becoming clear that patents will become a hot button issue in the blockchain space with many startups (and incumbents) pegging their futures to the broad adoption of the technology.

As noted in a recent Coindesk article, there are around 60 blockchain patent applications and a factor more bitcoin related ones currently going through the US Patent Office. There is a strong argument that a number of these applications will be rejected on the basis that they’re financial business methods — which have been held to be unpatentable in a number of jurisdictions. Regardless, one only need look at the broad application of the technology to realise that a legal monopoly is a highly valuable asset in the blockchain space — which is a huge incentive to keep filing patents.

So if you’re a startup, watch this space and if you’re an incumbent time to get the legal department working on those filings.

— Alan Tsen, @alantsen 👊💯

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News This Week

Irrational Appcoin Exuberance

medium.com 
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Do Multiple Implementations Make Ethereum More Reliable?

petertodd.org 
 When I think about the reliability of Bitcoin, I’m mainly thinking about twothings:

Understanding Soft Forks: A Core Developer’s View On Network Monopoly

bitcoinmagazine.com

Since the beginning of the development of Segregated Witness, an increasing number of alternative Bitcoin hard fork supporters have criticised the implementation process of soft forks on Bitcoin Core, claiming that Core developers have a complete monopoly over the process.

Unpicking The Gordian Knot Around Blockchain Patents

techcrunch.com 
 As of June 22, 2016, there were 492 published patent families directed to the theme of blockchain and 192 relating to bitcoin. Patent applications filed over..

[Video] Interview With Vitalik Buterin

www.youtube.com

An interview With Vitalik Buterin at Devcon2.

The Blockchain Timeline

blog.gem.co 
 A history of blockchain technology that reveals how a cryptocurrency gave rise to enterprise solutions, and why it is seen as such a…

10 Blockchain Technologies From Africa

www.techbullion.com

It is now publically known that there are over 1,000 Blockchain companies in the world, a figure that is growing with the emergence of new companies. Although global Blockchain market is dominated by companies in the UK and US, Africa makes up 1.4% of the start-ups.

A Conversation With Coinbase’s First Employee

www.themacro.com

Employee #1 is a series of interviews focused on sharing the often untold stories of early employees at tech companies.

Please Stop Talking About High-Frequency Trading And Blockchains

r3cev.com

I really only have deep familiarity with two concepts in finance today: the capital markets case for blockchains and high-frequency trading. Imagine my frustration since the two are the most ill-understood topics in the popular press and the oil-and-water of technological applications.

How Blockchain Applications Will Get Deployed

startupmanagement.org

The blockchain applications market is unravelling along a segmentation of activity that is spread along two sets of variables: private vs. public blockchains, and new vs. existing business models.

Symbiont Showcases Blockchain Catastrophe Swaps to Insurance Execs

www.coindesk.com 
 Blockchain startup Symbiont has demonstrated a self-executing catastrophe swap smart contract on a platform designed for a wide-range of industries.

Announcing Ripple’s Global Payments Steering Group

ripple.com 
 Today, Ripple is proud to announce the creation of the first interbank group for global payments based on distributed financial technology.

From Cold Storage

What Venture Capitalists Look For In A Blockchain Startup

www.forbes.com 
 With over $1b invested in bitcoin firms and much more within the general blockchain ecosystem, many entrepreneurs, from experienced to aspiring and anywhere in between are looking at this technology and saying “How can I use this?”

Something Random (But Useful)

The MIT License, Line By Line

writing.kemitchell.com

The MIT License is the most popular open-source software license. Here’s one read of it, line by line.

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