Remember Craig Wright?
To refresh those memories, he's the Australian computer scientist who is claiming to be bitcoin's inventor (AKA Satoshi Nakamoto). He recently went as far as claiming that he would prove he was the creator but backed out, saying he couldn't "be the face of anything." He still says he is bitcoin's creator, but he just isn't going to prove it for now.
That storyline played itself out in early May, when it sparked a number of discussions across the digital currency discussion boards and mainstream media about the legitimacy of his claim. Now, however, fast forward to June 20, and it appears that Wright is back in the spotlight, whether he wants to be or not.
According to documents reviewed by Reuters and interviews between the media outlet and those claiming to be Wright's associates, the Australian is now on a crusade to file patent applications related to bitcoin and blockchain. According to the data gathered, in the past five months, Wright has filed more than 50 patent applications in Britain through Antigua-registered EITC Holdings Ltd. This company is reportedly connected with Wright himself.
And apparently, there have been 11 patent applications filed by the company in the past week alone.
While Wright has not publicly spoken about the patent applications, what the reports indicate is that the patents are related to how bitcoin and the technology that underpins the digital currency, the blockchain, could impact how other financial institutions and companies are looking to use the technology to innovate their own services.
Research from investment bank Magister Advisors shows that financial institutions are banking more than $1 billion worth of investments on studying the blockchain as a way to innovate the industry. Supporters of the blockchain suggest that this technology could change the way financial services are conducted by making the system faster, cheaper, more efficient and more secure.
The patents that Wright is specifically focused on cover a variety of topics in the industry, but Reuters' report mentioned that a few of them have to relate to a way to pay for online content more securely and a system for using blockchain for running an Internet of Things operating system.
"It looks like he is trying to patent the fundamental building blocks of any blockchain, cryptocurrency or distributed ledger system," said Antony Lewis, a consultant on bitcoin issues that worked with Reuters to review specific patent titles and some of their contents.