nChain Receives First Patent Grant for Blockchain-Enforced Smart Contract Invention
LONDON, April 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — nChain, the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies, is pleased to announce issuance of its first patent by the European Patent Office. This first issued patent, granted by the EPO on April 11, 2018, is for a registry and automated management method for blockchain-enforced smart contracts.
The patent – European Patent Office number EP3257191 – is entitled “A method and system for securing computer software using a distributed hash table and a blockchain“. The invention covers a technique that will work for any content that has an executable phase (which is not limited to computer software, but can incorporate music, video and even PDF files) to check, via a blockchain lookup that the accessing resource both has acquired a license for the content, and more importantly that the license remains valid. The invention can be deployed by content producers and rightsholders to more efficiently perform digital rights management, especially for auto-renewing contracts common to digital subscription services, using smart contracts on the blockchain. Further information on this invention can be found on nChain’s website at https://nchain.com/en/blog/nchain-innovation-road-smart-contracts/
The patent builds upon one of nChain’s other patent-pending inventions – WO2017145016 (Deterministic Key Generation). That invention, entitled “Determining a common secret for the secure exchange of information and hierarchical deterministic cryptographic keys“, provides a method whereby two connected nodes, with no trust relationship between them can derive a deterministic hierarchy of each other’s public keys through simply sharing their respective public keys and a message of some format, where the respective private keys can still only be generated by the owner of that private key. This invention provides significant security benefits to prevent “Mt. Gox-type” hacks of cryptocurrency wallets. It can also be used far beyond bitcoin and blockchain environments – for any situation in which sensitive data, assets, communications or controlled resources need to be secured. Further information on this method can be found on nChain’s website at https://nchain.com/en/blog/nchains-security-inventions/
nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright, one of the earliest minds behind Bitcoin, is a key inventor for both referenced inventions.
nChain Group CEO Jimmy Nguyen comments:
“This first patent grant by the European Patent Office marks a major milestone in nChain’s ambitious research and patent program, which started approximately two years ago. We expect this will be the first of many more patents to come, as our portfolio of blockchain patent applications is among the largest – if not the largest – in the world.”
Nguyen also reinforced nChain’s commitment to provide use of its intellectual property for growth of Bitcoin Cash:
“While we are building enterprise value through our patent portfolio, nChain is committed to using our intellectual property to benefit the Bitcoin Cash community. We intend to make key IP assets available for free usage only on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain – through our new ‘nChain Open Bitcoin Cash License.’ This will give Bitcoin Cash significant advantages over other blockchains, and will incentivize businesses to operate on the BCH blockchain, which represents the original vision of Bitcoin.”
ABOUT NCHAIN GROUP: The nChain Group is the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies. Its mission is to enable massive growth and worldwide adoption of the Bitcoin network – focusing on Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin. The nChain Group includes four business units: 1) nChain Limited – a blockchain research and development business in London, United Kingdom; 2) nChain Holdings Limited – a intellectual property holding and commercialization company; 3) nChain Reaction – an investment entity which supports ventures that have Bitcoin Cash products or applications; and 4) nCrypt – a Bitcoin wallet and exchange in Canada. (nCrypt is currently known as nTrust, but will be re-branding in 2018 to reflect its move to focus on Bitcoin).