To look into blockchain payment applications, Bank of China (BOC) is teaming up with China UnionPay. The tie-up was fueled by regulatory requirements as well as market demand, and provides opportunities for cross-border payments, Cointelegraph reported.
The two companies are seeking to look into distributed ledger and big data technology to update products for mobile banking. In particular, CUP is looking to create a unified integrated financial services port for mobile. The idea behind such a system is that cardholders could make purchases, transfers and trades using a QR code. In the future, the BOC plans to promote the payment system as a way to provide a “safer, more convenient and more efficient mobile payment service experience” to customers.
The news comes as data shows that China filed the most blockchain patent applications in 2017. According to Financial Times, data from the World Intellectual Property Organization database showed that more than half of the 406 blockchain patent applications filed last year were from China. And of the top nine companies that filed such patents between 2012 and 2017, six were Chinese, with Beijing Technology Development leading the pack.
China filed 225 of the blockchain patents last year and 59 in 2016, followed by the U.S. (91 in 2017 and 21 in 2016) and Australia (13 last year and 19 in 2016). Among the companies who have filed blockchain patents, Bank of America applied to patent a technology that facilitates “person-to-person alias-based payments.” In addition, BT Group is trying to patent a technology that can detect attacks on blockchain, and Mastercard has filed a patent for a blockchain-based method for tracking payments and uploading data onto the blockchain at the point of sale.
Patents specific to cryptocurrencies — which are not included in the blockchain category — rose 16 percent in 2017. But China has been less active in bitcoin and cryptocurrency applications, where the top filers over the past five years were U.S. and European companies, including IBM (54), the Netherland’s Gemalto (35), Intel (34), Thomson Licensing (31) and Amazon Technologies (27).