Barclays Granted Blockchain Patents Despite "Little Likelihood of Widespread Adoption in any Area in the Near Future"

Cryptocurrency market activity overnight sees the global cryptocurrency market cap fall by just $3 billion to $285 billion, Bitcoin gained $121 rising to $7452 and Ethereum fell by $15 to $461 – an uncommon site to see Bitcoin making gains whilst both the global cap and Ethereum fall, albeit marginally.

Japanese telecoms provider, Nippon Telegraph has filed a blockchain patent aimed at dealing with contract agreements in a bid to solve the issue where currently only the senders signature is recorded and no evidence of agreement by the receiver is recorded which subsequently means there is no historical record of all parties being in agreement. The solution outlined in the patent would essentially be to include electronic signatures of all parties involved in each transaction, thereby creating a complete record and subsequently improving credibility/transparency of contract agreements between multiple parties.

Barclays have been busy applying for blockchain related patents, with 2 patent applications published by the USPTO. The first covering the transfer of digital currencies, the second regarding blockchain validation and storage. Barclays has previously been incredibly negative about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, almost to the point of being offensive when Barclay’s lead analyst Joseph Abate wrote The investment mania for cryptocurrencies is like an infectious disease whose transmission rate may be declining and “Despite tremendous hype over the potential for crypto technologies in money and finance—specifically, blockchain and distributed ledger technology—we see little likelihood of widespread adoption in any area in the near future,”  both statements were made in April of this year, and yet the patent applications were initially filed on July 8th 2016. Proof perhaps if ever it were needed that the mainstream banking world might indeed be slightly more prepared to adopt blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and further proof either that there is little internal discussion about technical development or direction inside Barclays, or, there is a concerted effort being made by Barclays to confuse competitors (and the public) regarding its stance on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Executives from 3 traditional wealth management firms in the UK, Wealthify, Nutmeg, and Scalable Capital have reportedly approached the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) calling for tighter and faster regulation on cryptocurrencies under the guise of the need to protect investors and that cryptocurrency investing is little more than “gambling”. One of the executives, James McManus of Nutmeg went on the record to say “With cryptocurrencies gaining media attention for large gains but little to no attention for large losses, perhaps now is the time for regulators to take a closer look at the selling process around cryptocurrencies.” I’m not sure exactly which publications McManus reads but it would appear he conveniently misses every piece of FUD published in the cryptospace. Amusingly when asked, the 3 executives apparently denied that their concern stemmed from the fact they may be losing business to the cryptocurrency sector.

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Created: Friday, July 20, 2018

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