The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by myriad factors including regulatory reforms and the growing importance of technologies such as crypto wallets, anonymous transaction handling, and digital rights management (DRM) tools. 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: crypto wallets. 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.
Crypto wallets is a key innovation area in blockchain
A crypto wallet refers a program, device, physical medium, or service that stores the public and/or private keys for transactions in cryptocurrency. Additionally, a crypto wallet also offers the functionality of encrypting and/or signing information. Unlike a traditional wallet that holds cash, crypto wallets don’t store cryptocurrency. A customer’s digital assets live on the blockchain and can only be accessed with a private key.
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 430 companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of crypto wallets.
Key players in crypto wallets – 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 crypto wallets
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Leading patent filers in the crypto wallet space are Alibaba Group, nChain, Advanced New Technologies, Headwater Research, Mastercard, Visa, and Capital One Financial. Visa has used blockchain technology to create an international digital identity system called Visa B2B Connect. This system tokenizes business data such as account details and bank details and gives them a cryptographic key identifier.
In terms of application diversity, Adidas, Technikka Conexion, Cox Enterprises, and AT&T are the leading players.
In terms of geographic reach, Headwater Research, Adidas, Headwater Partners, and Cox Enterprises are the top players.
Customers are likely to increasingly turn to crypto wallets for transactions as crypto wallets provide various advantages such as simplicity and ease of use, transaction and account confidentiality, convenient portfolio management, and access to different currencies.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Blockchain in Retail.