• Patent applications for digital yuan are increasing

  • The number of digital yuan patents is increasing, with 271 patent applications related to digital currency filed since the beginning of last year, according to data compiled by Mpaypass.com, as e-CNY trials continue under the Chinese government’s watchful eye.

    According to the data, the total number of patent applications filed since 2020 has surpassed the previous total from 2016 to 2019.

    Patent applicants have included large telecom operators such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, as well as payment services such as banks and Alipay.

    Between 2017 and 2019, the Digital Currency Research Institute at China’s central bank, the main driving force behind the development of e-CNY, applied for 65 relevant patents. According to the report, it has applied for approximately 30 patents related to digital currency since the beginning of 2020.

    Over the last few years, China has seen an increase in blockchain-related patent applications. In 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized blockchain technology development, calling for more research, investment, and regulation. More than 35,000 businesses responded to Xi’s call, expanding their operations into blockchain by registering company names and major businesses using the term “blockchain.” Companies wanted to not only have blockchain bragging rights but also to file more patents related to the technology.

    “This ties in very well with new-technology companies in the blockchain sector,” ULTCOIN365 was told by John Eastwood, a Taipei-based patent lawyer and senior partner at Eiger Law’s Greater China practice. “Because many of them struggle to distinguish themselves from other blockchain companies and want to demonstrate something to investors to support their value.”

    In China, the cost of filing a patent is close to zero, but the benefit of holding a patent, or even just filing a patent, is comparatively large, as it can provide companies with profile. Many applications do not appear to be advanced or innovative, but companies want to file them to give the appearance of being innovative, according to Eastwood.

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