The number of Blockchain technology and digital currency-related applications that were filed with and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) between January and July 2017 has almost doubled.

Based on data from the agency, there were 390 applications filed during the period, up by 90 percent from the 204 applications in the same period in 2016.

In the conducted analysis, the dataset includes combined keyword search results using such terms as “distributed ledger,” “Bitcoin,” “Blockchain,” and “Ethereum.” Based on the results, there is currently a boom in research and development (R&D) focusing on Blockchain technology and digital currencies.

Showing consistent growth

The results also showed that there is a growing interest in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies in both private and public sectors in the US. The patent applications were related to such areas as Bitcoin mining derivatives, Blockchain-based shareholder voting and in-car cryptocurrency payments.

Between the five-year period from 2012 to 2016, there has been a meteoric rise in the number of patent applications based on the USPTO figures. In 2012, the number of applications related to Blockchain and virtual currencies was only 71. The figure rose to 469 in 2016.

Increase from 70 to 152

The number of patents that were approved by the agency is also growing. Based on the figures, the agency has awarded patents to 70 applications in 2013. In 2016, the number of approved patents rose to 152.

Among the recently approved patent applications is the “SETLcoin” digital currency patent that was filed by investment bank Goldman Sachs and the Bitcoin-powered subscriber server that was developed by the major telecommunications company AT&T.

Based on these results, interest and adoption of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies among various institutions and industries seems to on the uptrend.