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During the last couple of weeks, numerous developments in the blockchain industry have gone unnoticed. In fact, Blockchain is quickly gaining more and more popularity, and it now has to potential of upending numerous sectors of our economy, by helping eliminate what we commonly refer to as the middlemen (brokers for services, information, money and products).

It is no secret that banks from all around the world are actively looking into the benefits associated with adopting blockchain technology. A recent study has shown that investment management firms have the potential of saving more than $15-16 billion during the next five years, if they choose to switch to a blockchain-based system. For 2017, the blockchain network has the potential to be used in practice, and thus overhaul numerous aspects of our daily lives, ranging from purchasing stock, a home, or simply buying groceries and other simple products.

In fact, during the last couple of months, numerous financial institutions, banks and companies working in the financial sector, such as the Bank of America, MasterCard, Goldman Sachs and more, have patented some innovative blockchain-based inventions for their very own use. In November, the number of patents made for blockchain-based tech has more than doubled, when compared to the beginning of the current year.

In a recent press statement, a representative from MasterCard mentioned that the company is patenting numerous blockchain inventions to protect them from use by other companies, just like many other financial institutions. This response comes, after MasterCard has filed over 30 patents on digital currencies and the blockchain network.

Economic analysts have predicted that over the next year, the adoption of blockchain technology will likely be the catalyst of a multi-billion market which may develop over the next decade. While some companies and financial institutions may simply be filing patents to keep things safe, and make sure that their ideas aren’t stolen from them, or used without a license, numerous start-up, blockchain-based firms are sprouting up every month, with some even getting access to millions of dollars-worth of investment funds.

There has been some controversy regarding the purpose of filing patents, considering the fact that the world is moving towards open-source applications that technically make patents useless. Nevertheless, the continuous filing can only make us think that banks and businesses are getting more serious about developing, and hopefully launching blockchain-based technologies in the foreseeable future.

Other than the patents being filed, companies are doing more research on the blockchain network and digital currencies, with some, even launching trial operations. 2017 will also likely give smart contracts another chance, especially for banks, who may or may not, meet regulatory issues. Regardless, the blockchain technology has a huge growth potential, which will likely be better explored in the next year to come, through numerous innovations, investments, and the appearance of more start-ups and smarter projects, which can really shape up our financial market.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the growing number of patents, surrounding the blockchain network and digital currencies? Are companies throughout the world a step closer to launching FinTech operations? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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By Daniel Dob

Daniel is a digital currency expert, consultant and content writer. So far, he has racked up seven years of freelance writing experience, and he’s spent the last three working as a cryptocurrency journalist. Other niches that he has a passion for include finance, blockchain technology and business.

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