China has taken the lead in the development of blockchain technology according to several domestically published reports.
The “Blockchain Patent Trend White Paper (Version 1.0)” (区块链专利态势白皮书(1.0版)) released by the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) indicates that during the period from the start of 2013 to 20 December 2018 China accounted for 4435 blockchain patent applications, or 48% of the global total.
The United States accounted for 1833 blockchain patent applications over the same period, comprising 21% of the global total, while other major sources of development included the Canada, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Data from the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) indicates that in the first quarter of 2019 China saw a total of 2041 blockchain patent applications, as compared to just 317 during the same period in 2018.
“The rapid growth in the volume of Chinese blockchain patents not only signifies China’s focus and drive for blockchain technology, it also portends that China will have greater international influence in the blockchain field,” said the “China Blockchain Development Report (2019)” (中国区块链发展报告(2019)) released on 16 November.
China is also currently host to the largest number of blockchain-related registered enterprises, with 27,784 as of the end of June 2019, as compared to 1430 in the United States, 465 in the United Kingdom.
State media has also recently reported, however, that as few as 10% of these registered enterprises have businesses which are in any way related to blockchain technology.