The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by regulatory reforms and risk mitigation, and the growing importance of technologies such as QR codes, RFID technology, and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Blockchain in retail: blockchain payments. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Blockchain payments is a key innovation area in blockchain
A blockchain payment system is a payment method through a blockchain or distributed ledger system that helps to facilitate and process transactions as well as verify them. These systems can be used by individuals, businesses, or financial institutions and offer a way for faster and smoother crypto payments and transactions.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 260+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of blockchain payments.
Key players in blockchain payments – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to blockchain payments
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
nChain is the leading patent filer in blockchain payments. Some other key patent filers in the space include Alibaba Group, Headwater Research, Headwater Partners I, and Licentia Group. nChain Holdings and eLivestock Global (ELG) entered a partnership in October 2022 to launch a cattle traceability platform with the help of the former’s blockchain solutions. The platform will help to ensure that livestock are healthier, and farmers are able to sustain and secure their livelihood.
In terms of application diversity, Proxense leads the pack. Toshiba and Ballet Global stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Licentia Group held the top position, followed by Headwater Research and Illumio.
Blockchain payments will potentially become the approach favored by many future retail players. The increasing use of this technology will provide more convenience and security to both customers and retailers.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Blockchain in Retail.