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IBM Triples Number of Blockchain Patents in US Since Last Year

IBM has tripled the number of blockchain-related patents it holds in the U.S. this year, dwarfing other US blockchain bulls.

Tech giant IBM has tripled the number of blockchain patents secured in the United States since last year, currently boasting over 100 active patent families. That makes IBM’s growth in US patents the largest of last, according to a report by BeinCrypto on July 16.

According to data gathered by Yuval Halevi, co-founder of crypto and blockchain PR company GuerillaBuzz, IBM’s number of active patent families dwarfs other notable corporations. This includes some primary tech companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, and Dell Technologies:

“In just 1 year the number of IBM blockchain patents has grown by 300%. When one of the largest companies in the world (366,000 employees) spends so much of their resources on developing a blockchain department, this tells a lot about the market potential.”

However, IBM reportedly does have international competition. As noted in the report, China is currently outpacing the U.S. and world at large in terms of blockchain patents. Alibaba, in particular, is reportedly the leading Chinese company in blockchain patents, despite having only 25 patents filed in the U.S. as per Halevi’s Twitter post.

As of May, Alibaba had applied for a whopping 262 patents, according to figures from Securities Daily. According to this report, China was also the global leader in blockchain-related patent applications, with organizations in the country apparently filing for 4,435 patents between 2013 to 2018. During the same period, the U.S. reportedly filed for 1,833 patents. 

However, another study presented by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and Withers & Rogers LLP previously reported by Cointelegraph suggested that more blockchain patent applications were filed in the U.S. than China between 2012 and 2018, according to data. According to this report, the U.S. had filed 1,680 patents at this time while China had filed 1,590. Additionally, IBM reportedly filed 143 patents during this period, still clocking in at the number one application spot. The origin of the disparate findings this report versus that of Securities Daily is unknown.

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Intel Co-Sponsors New Hyperledger Transact Project

Global tech giant Intel continues its blockchain endeavors by co-sponsoring a new blockchain programming project by Hyperledger.

Global tech giant Intel has co-sponsored a new blockchain programming project by major blockchain tech firm Hyperledger, according to a Forbes report on July 3.

Officially released on June 27, Hyperledger Transact is a new tool that aims to boost the compatibility of blockchain networks by providing a standard interface, or a shared software library for smart contracts execution.

Michael Reed, Intel’s blockchain program director, said in an interview with Forbes that the main purpose of the company’s efforts in blockchain development is to ensure that distributed ledger technology solutions “run well on Intel silicon.”

Reed noted that the company is also working to find out the requirements or standards for blockchain developers in consortiums such as Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

Hyperledger Transact involves a number of companies specializing in different industries, including global tech giant IBM, Intel, as well as tech service firm Bitwise IO and global food supplier Cargill.

Intel is a member of the major blockchain standards consortium, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), which counts over 500 participants, including the United States’ largest bank JPMorgan Chase, blockchain incubator ConsenSys, Big Four auditor EY, as well as tech giants Microsoft and IBM, and blockchain consortium R3.

On June 18, IBM introduced updates on its IBM Blockchain Platform, enabling it to run on multiple cloud networks including Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services.

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Ethereum Consortium Launches New Enterprise Tools With Input From Microsoft, Intel

The blockchain standards organization has released two new specifications aiming to enhance blockchain implementation for enterprises.

Member-driven blockchain standards organization the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has released two new specifications aiming to accelerate and enhance blockchain implementation for enterprises. The news was shared with Cointelegraph in two press releases on May 13.

The EEA, which counts over 500 members, describes itself as a “standards organization whose charter is to develop open, blockchain specifications that drive harmonization and interoperability.”

EEA members include global consulting firm Accenture, banks Santander and JPMorgan Chase, blockchain incubator ConsenSys, Big Four auditor EY, tech giants Intel, Microsoft and IBM and blockchain consortium R3.

One of today’s newly-released specifications is a set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) — published as the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V1.0 — which support development work with programs for blockchain transactions that demand privacy, oracle services and compute-intensive workloads.

The off-chain solution is reportedly designed to enable enterprises to choose the most appropriate trusted compute technology for their use case — supporting methods such as Trusted Execution Environments, Zero-Knowledge Proofs and Trusted Multi-Party-Compute.

In a statement accompanying the solution’s release, EEA executive director Ron Resnick acknowledged in particular the input of EEA members such as Microsoft, Intel, Banco Santander and ConsenSys.

He noted that many enterprise blockchain use cases demand complex “privacy, security, throughput, and latency” solutions, and thus that:

“Temporarily moving some transactions off-chain for computation elsewhere, and then returning a summary to the main chain is a promising method for achieving such requirements.”

EEA’s parallel new release is the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification V3, which reportedly simplifies and makes the Client’s permissions systems more flexible.

To develop the latest specification, the EEA Technical Standards Working Group tackled performance and interoperability issues based upon feedback from users and cross-industry EEA Special Interest Groups.

It also heeded the implementation experience and customer feedback for BlockApps’, Clearmatics’, ConsenSys’, and JPMorgan Quorum’s enterprise blockchain software.

As Cointelegraph reported in April, the EEA launched a blockchain-neutral Token Taxonomy Initiative which will seek to define tokens in non-technical and cross-industry terms in a bid to drive enterprise token adoption at scale.

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Upgraded Hyperledger Fabric Sees 7-Fold Increase in Transaction Speed

Researchers have boosted Hyperledger Fabric’s capacity from 3,000 transactions per second to 20,000.

Researchers have re-engineered the Hyperledger Fabric to support almost seven times more transactions per second (TPS), according to a May 2 news release from Canada’s University of Waterloo.

A new series of optimizations increased the volume of data that the blockchain — used by financial institutions, IT giants and engineering companies — can process. Where it formerly maxed out around 3,000 TPS, the researchers claim they managed to achieve 20,000 TPS.

The university’s work focused on improving “end-to-end transaction throughput” by redesigning Fabric’s ordering service, transaction service and data management layer. This means that the blockchain is more practical for “fast-paced sectors such as e-commerce.” Christian Gorenflo, one of its PhD candidates, explained:

“Our modifications are completely under-the-hood. Fabric’s application programming interfaces and modularity stay intact, so existing applications work just as before.”

Professor Lukasz Golab said the researchers are now in discussions with major Fabric contributors who want to adopt their optimizations in future releases. Golab described the reception so far as very positive.

Professor Srinivasan Keshav explained that the team is now determined to pursue further optimizations, which they believe could take Hyperledger Fabric’s capacity to 50,000 TPS.

The Hyperledger community has been expanding apace. In February, Intel launched a commercial package through the ecosystem. The package is designed for businesses that want to launch their own blockchain quickly and efficiently.

Italy’s postal service, Poste Italiane, joined in January, following in the footsteps of America’s FedEx, which claimed the technology has “big, big implications” for supply chains and transportation.

IBM is using its Hyperledger-based blockchain platform to improve supply chain management in the mining industry and ensure commodities such as cobalt are sourced responsibly.

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Ethereum Consortium Launches Token Initiative With Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Others

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has launched a blockchain-neutral Token Taxonomy Initiative that will seek to define tokens in non-technical and cross-industry terms.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has launched a blockchain-neutral Token Taxonomy Initiative in partnership with major firms, according to a press release from EEA on April 17. The initiative will seek to define tokens in non-technical and cross-industry terms in a bid to drive enterprise token adoption at scale.

The EEA describes itself “a member-driven standards organization whose charter is to develop open, blockchain specifications that drive harmonization and interoperability.”

Members of the initiative reportedly include global consulting firm Accenture, major banks Santander and JPMorgan Chase, blockchain incubator ConsenSys, Big Four auditor EY, tech giants Intel, Microsoft and IBM, blockchain consortium R3, international think-tank The Blockchain Research Institute, blockchain r&d firm Clearmatics and others.

The new Token Taxonomy Initiative will aim to establish a shared set of terms and definitions for tokens — whichever blockchain they derive from — as a cornerstone for businesses and developers.

Standardization, the EEA’s director Ron Resnick argues, can unlock the frictionless use of tokens “to serve as, or provide access to, a set of goods, financial assets, securities, services, value or content” within enterprise-grade blockchain applications.

As well as clarifying the concept and scope of the token model, the initiative will seek to address use cases, taxonomy and terminology and technical specifications.

To this end, the project will aim to establish technical standards that can counter fragmentation between multiple blockchain protocols and ensure interoperability between platforms and use cases — whether the tokens serve currency-like purposes or represent unique assets.

The initiative will be structured to include a Token Taxonomy Framework accompanied by an educational initiative, which will be run through structured Token Definition Workshops.

As previously reported, the EEA — which counts over 500 members — is engaged in ongoing token standards work, which began with a focus on Ethereum (ETH) specifications. In fall 2018, Hyperledger and EEA announced their mutual associated membership.

The organization extended its global outreach by opening a regional office in China this February. That same month, the EEA announced it would be launching a so-called “token task force,” to be focused on ETH-derived fungible ERC-20 and non-fungible ERC-721 tokens.

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Coinbase Makes LinkedIn’s ‘Top Companies 2019’ List as Lone Crypto Firm

The crypto exchange also placed higher than Twitter and Intel in the listings, which refer to the U.S. market.

United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has become the only cryptocurrency business to make it into LinkedIn’s list of the most popular companies for 2019, results confirmed on April 3.

The yearly rundown, which ranks company popularity among employees, placed Coinbase at 35 out of a total of 50 shortlisted.

LinkedIn ranks contenders according to interest in the company, employee engagement by executives, demand for available jobs and employee retention rate. Different lists are issued for different countries, with Coinbase correspondingly appearing in the U.S. edition.

The exchange has previously made it onto LinkedIn lists, such as in September last year, when it appeared in a rundown of the top 50 startups to work for, alongside payment network Ripple and fellow trading platform Gemini, the product of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

The latest data contains some surprises — Coinbase beat out famously crypto-skeptical JPMorgan Chase, which only attained 44th position.

Twitter and Intel also failed to top Coinbase. The former has recently shown an increasingly pro-crypto stance and the latter has engaged in mining hardware activities as of last year.

For its part, JPMorgan CHas has also begun experimenting with cryptocurrency technology, Cointelegraph reporting last month on the unexpected release of its controversial in-house token, JPM Coin.

Earlier this week, Coinbase revealed it had insurance against its hot wallet cryptocurrency holdings valued at $225 million. The company also recently launched its latest service, focused on staking for institutional investors, via its Coinbase Custody spin-off.

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Singapore Blockchain Accelerator Nets BMW and Intel Among New Partners

Government-backed Tribe will now offer its startups shared expertise in the mobility industry and blockchain tech production.

Singapore government-backed blockchain accelerator Tribe has gained BMW and Intel as two major strategic partners, local English-language technology news outlet Tech In Asia reported on March 22.

Tribe, which began operations late last year, is the brainchild of Tri5 Ventures, a venture capital firm aiming to support later-stage startups.

Existing partners of the scheme include PwC and South Korean blockchain network Icon Foundation.

Now, both BMW and Intel will provide expertise to the startups selected for support. The car giant will focus on the mobility industry, while Intel will share knowledge gained through its activities in the blockchain and cryptocurrency mining sectors.

Another partner, data management giant Nielsen, will provide a form of a sandbox focusing on regulatory compliance risks and other necessary considerations when setting up a blockchain product for market.

Back in December, sources confirmed each cohort of startups would receive eight months’ coaching, with eight initially in line.

The move comes amid multiple blockchain-related phenomena finding a home in Singapore’s regulatory environment, which lawmakers have sought to make accommodating for the technology.

Earlier this month, blockchain shipping initiative TradeTrust, also with government involvement, launched its pilot phase.

Longer term, Singapore plans to integrate blockchain further, such as in the central bank’s Project Ubin payments project, set to deliver its first results next year.

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American Tech Giant Intel Files New Patent for Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining

Technology company Intel has filed a new patent aimed at reducing energy costs for Bitcoin mining by up to 15 percent.

U.S. technology giant Intel has filed a new patent for “energy-efficient high-performance Bitcoin mining,” according to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing published Nov. 27.

The Intel patent is dedicated to a “hardware accelerator implementing SHA-256 hash using optimized data paths” and aims to reduce energy for Bitcoin (BTC) mining up to 15 percent, according to the publication. The documents states that “clusters of SHA engines may consume a lot of powers (e.g., at a rate of greater than 200 W),” adding:

“Embodiments of the present disclosure include energy-efficient ASIC-based SHA engines that consume less power for Bitcoin mining operations.”

Back this spring, Intel had already filed a patent aiming to reduce the amount of electricity consumed by crypto mining, “minimizing energy consumption per hash and maximizing performance per watt,” as Cointelegraph reported Mar. 30.

Previously this year, Intel partnered with Enigma, a decentralized application (DApp) platform, to launch its blockchain testnet to provide the first environment for scalable end-to-end DApps.

Another partnership with Intel was signed this fall, aiming to address “gaps in the market” for solutions that power enterprise blockchain systems, with software multinational company SAP. Later in October, Intel partnered with hardware startup firm Ledger to provide innovative solutions for digital currency and blockchain applications, Cointelegraph wrote Oct. 27.