BT ‘applies for seven blockchain patents’, says report

20 April 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

BT has filed a number of patents for blockchain technology, as the company steps up its investment in R&D in this area.

UK business newspaper CityAM has uncovered seven filings from BT related to developments in blockchain, a distributed database technology that has initially found applications with Bitcoin, the online payment system.

According to the newspaper, one of the patent applications relates to detecting and reducing the effects of a blockchain attack. Another is for access control.

Two researchers at BT Global Services, Gery Ducatel and Joshua Daniel, are named on the patents, says CityAM. According to his LinkedIn profile, Ducatel is a specialist in IT security based at BT’s Adastral research centre. Daniel, based in the same place, is a member of BT’s research in security futures practice. He was originally an aerospace engineer.

The paper uncovered details of the applications filed since July 2016 with the World Intellectual Property Organisation. BT confirmed the report and said blockchain is “one of the many areas” the company is working on.

CityAM says that BT says in its security-related patent application: “Despite the architecture of blockchain systems, malicious attacks present a threat to the security and reliability of blockchains. One such malicious attack involves a single entity (or entities under common control) procuring or appearing to procure sufficient computing resource to constitute more than half of all mining resource working with a blockchain.”