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South Korean Blockchain Patents Applications ‘Surging’

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Blockchain technology-related patent applications surged in South Korea last year, and appear to be rising further this year in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Adobe/chrupka

Per the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), a total of 1,301 blockchain patents were registered in the country last year, a rise of 50 times on the paltry 24 registered in 2015.

Media outlet Joongang Ilbo added that industry players believe blockchain provides “excellent” levels of security – and says that industries across the board in the country are “increasing” their adoption, “particularly due to the COVID-19 crisis.”

Blockchain business consultant Lee Jong-cheol told Cryptonews.com that the government has been actively pushing untact technology of late.

Untact is a portmanteau term that is being used in South Korea to describe industry 4.0 advances that help do away with unnecessary face-to-face contact.

Lee said,

“The untact drive is well-timed if you are a blockchain developer in South Korea right now. Across all industries, there is a huge push to get away from paper-based documentation, and the idea of submitting paper applications could soon be a thing of the past. Banks and financial services providers particularly want to cut down on costs and speed up application processes. They are all over this kind of innovation.”

KIPO figures show that the authentication and security industry appears to be the most active, accounting for 21% of the past five years’ total number of blockchain-related patents. The fintech industry followed in second place with almost 20%. Asset management placed third with 14%. Human resources-related blockchain patents accounted for almost 5% of the total figure.

KIPO figures showed that although big-name firms have dominated the blockchain headlines in South Korea of late, smaller companies are far more innovative. Bigger firms accounted for just 8% of applications in the period 2015-2020, with SMEs registering a total of 1,580 applications in the same time period.