The Chinese banking sector has evinced its strong interest in blockchain technology with a surge in the volume of patent applications made during the past four years.
Data from 01Caijing (零壹智库) indicates that during the four-year period from the 2016 to 2019 a total of 15 Chinese banks have filed 433 blockchain-related patent applications, for a 38-fold increase compared to the 11 patents filed in 2016.
2016 saw only two banks file blockchain patent applications – Bank of China (7) and WeBank (4).
In 2017 a total of 43 blockchain-related patents were filed by Chinese banks, while in 2018 this figure went up to 95, before surging to 284 last year.
The leading blockchain patent applicants amongst Chinese banks over the past four years have been WeBank, with a total of 288 patent applications, ICBC, with 50 applications, and Bank of China, with 40 applications.
In 2019 alone WeBank filed for 229 blockchain-related patent applications, accounting for 81% for new patents from Chinese banks that year.