Digital RMB patents surge, “blockchain” may be promising

News from the mobile payment network: With the gradual deepening of the digital renminbi pilot, more and more companies have begun to join the pilot, and patent applications related to “digital currency” are constantly updated.

Before the digital currency arrives, the patent first

At the end of 2019, news about the DCEP pilot program spread like wildfire. In early December, Caijing reported that the central bank’s legal digital currency pilot project led by the People’s Bank of China, the four state-owned commercial banks of Industry, Agriculture, China, and China Construction, and the three major telecom operators of China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom participated , Is expected to land in Shenzhen, Suzhou and other places.

Also in 2019, Facebook proposed a plan to launch the digital currency Libra and released the Libra white paper in advance. The emergence of Libra has triggered global digital currency competition, because Libra corresponds to a basket of currencies, posing a threat to sovereign currencies and raising concerns about it in various countries’ supervision.

It can be said that 2019 is a turning point for central bank digital currencies, and 2020 is the first year of global central bank digital currencies. Today, in addition to the first batch of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, Xiong’an and Beijing Winter Olympics scenes, digital renminbi has added six pilot cities: Shanghai, Changsha, Hainan, Qingdao, Dalian, and Xi’an. +1” pattern. Before the arrival of the digital renminbi, it can be said that the central bank started the patent layout and industry research of the central bank’s digital currency as early as 2016.

Through sorting out patents related to the central bank’s digital currency, there are mainly three central bank research and development institutions that have proposed related patents: the People’s Bank of China Digital Currency Research Institute (hereinafter referred to as the “Data Research Institute”), the People’s Bank of China Printed Science and Technology Research Institute, and China Banknote Credit Card Industry Development Co., Ltd. (Hangzhou Blockchain Technology Research Institute, Beijing Smart Card Technology Research Institute). The three companies filed a total of 97 patents during 2016-2019.

Among them, the Mathematics Research Institute has the largest number of patents among the three institutions. From 2017 to 2019, a total of 65 applications (67% of the total) were applied, mainly in 2017, with a total of 48 applications. The two important ones are The time node is June 26 (35 items) and December 28 (13 items). In 2018 and 2019, 4 items and 13 items were applied respectively, with a long time span; the 22 The items (23%) were all concentrated on March 25, 2016, which was very concentrated; the two research institutes of China Banknote Credit Card Industry Development Co., Ltd. applied for the least patents related to DCEP, with a total of 10 (10%), but The time span is large, covering the period 2016-2018.

Digital RMB patents surge, "blockchain" may be promising

From a functional point of view, related patents involve top-level design, wallet design, inter-bank settlement, blockchain, transaction exchange, chip cards and other aspects.

It can be seen that the central bank is highly forward-looking in the research and development of the digital currency field, and has made sufficient preparations for the research and development of the digital renminbi.

Focusing on “blockchain”, what can you do?

If the central bank is still in the research and preparation stage for digital currency from 2016 to 2019, then starting from the pilot digital renminbi in 2020, my country’s central bank digital currency has officially entered the stage of development.

During the period from 2020 to the first half of 2021 (as of early August, the same below), the Institute has applied for a total of 30 patents, of which only 5 are clearly related to digital currency, and as many as 23 are related to blockchain technology. Including digital certificates, transaction vouchers, smart contracts, data processing, shared files, and many other aspects.

Although these patents do not clearly indicate that they are related to digital renminbi, as a central bank subsidiary, the Institute is an official digital renminbi research and development institution, a member of the national team of the financial technology industry, the earliest blockchain practice institution in China, and an international rule for digital currency. Participant. Therefore, its patent layout may be related to the digital renminbi, and it may be applied to a certain aspect of the digital renminbi in the future.

The other two central bank subordinate institutions, China Banknote Credit Card Industry Development Co., Ltd. (Hangzhou Blockchain Technology Research Institute) have applied for 22 patents in total since last year. It is clear that there are only two related to digital currencies, most of which are blockchains. Related technology patents.

While the People’s Bank of China applied for 8 patents during the Printing Institute of Science and Technology, most of which are related to technology patents related to banknote printing and coinage, including paper, code printing, materials, anti-counterfeiting, etc. There is no digital currency anymore. Related patents. It can be seen that after the precipitation of time and the development of the industry, the division of industrial roles and functions has become clearer.

Digital RMB patents surge, "blockchain" may be promising

From the patent statistics chart of the Institute of Computer Science and Technology from last year to the present, it can be clearly seen that the patents on the blockchain account for a considerable proportion, and although the blockchain technology itself is not in harmony with the two-tier operation system of the centralized management of the digital renminbi. , But in fact, the digital renminbi system is a distributed and platform-based design. At some specific levels, the blockchain can cooperate with other technologies to produce good results.

This was also reflected in the previous “White Paper on China’s Digital Renminbi Research and Development Progress” and briefing speeches. Regarding the application of blockchain technology in the digital renminbi system, Mu Changchun said that blockchain has the advantages of non-tampering and traceability of data. , But there are shortcomings in performance and scalability, and it is more suitable for scenarios such as low concurrency and low sensitivity for asset confirmation, transaction transfer, and ledger verification. According to the technical characteristics and scope of application of the blockchain, the People’s Bank of China has explored innovative applications of the blockchain in the fields of trade finance, confirmation transactions, and transaction reconciliation, such as the trade finance blockchain platform and the digital bill trading platform.

Therefore, at the transaction level of the digital RMB, due to the support of high concurrency and low latency, the public directly holds the central bank’s claims, and a centralized structure is adopted. All inter-institutional transactions are transferred through the central bank side; while at the issuance level, the blockchain The non-tamperable and traceable characteristics of the system can be fully utilized. 

He said that at the issuance level of the digital renminbi payment system, a unified distributed ledger is constructed based on alliance chain technology. The central bank, as a trusted institution, uploads transaction data to the chain through application programming interfaces to ensure that the data is true and accurate, and operating institutions can conduct cross-institutional Reconciliation, collective maintenance of ledger, and multiple backups. At the same time, using the irreversible feature of the hash algorithm, the blockchain ledger uses hash digests instead of sensitive transaction information to achieve data isolation between different operating institutions, which not only protects the security of personal data privacy, but also avoids financial data triggered by distributed ledgers Security risk (the latest patent issued by the Institute of Science and Technology is the layout in this respect).

Focusing on “blockchain”, what can you do?

In addition to central bank institutions, other market players are also very interested in “digital currencies”, and most of them are digital renminbi participants.

According to statistics from the mobile payment network, a total of 271 patents related to “digital currency” (including other patents of the Institute of Digital Currency) have been issued since 2020. The number of patent applications in less than two years has even exceeded the number of patent applications from 2016 to 2019. total. Among them, 49 individuals applied for patents, and enterprises applied for 222 patents, accounting for more than 80%. It also includes operators such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, as well as institutions such as banks and Alipay.

Digital RMB patents surge, "blockchain" may be promising

It can be seen that most companies and even individuals have a high enthusiasm for digital currency, and the number of patents has gradually increased in recent years. However, as far as the current market environment of digital RMB is concerned, even though pilot projects are being implemented in various places, many participating companies are still confused about its prospects.

The relevant person stated to the mobile payment network that the digital RMB is still in the pilot stage and has not yet formed a complete industrial chain and market connection. Most of the companies participating in the pilot program are still promoting the implementation of related applications for free, and the business model is still unclear. The key point of some enterprises’ confusion. 

However, some participating companies have a more positive attitude, believing that the digital renminbi has a bright future. Previously, Lakala stated in investment relations activities that in the future, from the perspective of market size, a considerable part of cash transactions, wallet payments, and transfer transactions within the banking system will be transformed, which will promote the growth of digital RMB payment transactions. As for the business model, Lakala believes that future charges can be clarified, but the rate is still uncertain. 

All in all, the current digital renminbi is driven by the dual drive of supervision and piloting, and the market is booming, and this is also confirmed by the layout of corporate patents. But at the moment when the business model is not clear, the market dividend has not yet appeared. Whether it is the acceptance of the user side or the cooperation and coordination of the industrial chain, it still needs time to test.


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