The banking industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, enhanced security, operational efficiency, ever changing consumer expectations, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity. In the last three years alone, there have been over 129,000 patents filed and granted in the banking industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in banking: distributed ledger transactions. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the banking industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the banking industry using innovation intensity models built on over 165,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, distributed ledger transactions, is a disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Voice-based authentication, geofenced transactions, and embedded secure elements are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the banking industry

Distributed ledger transactions is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Distributed ledger transactions refer to the use of blockchain technology to securely and transparently record, validate, and transfer ownership of digital assets or transactions across a decentralized network. The ledger is spread across a network of computers, making it almost impossible to modify or tamper with any transaction without being detected by the network.

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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of distributed ledger transactions.

Key players in distributed ledger transactions – a disruptive innovation in the banking 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 distributed ledger transaction

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
nChain 297 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 279 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 106 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 90 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 63 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 57 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 46 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 41 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 34 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 29 Unlock Company Profile 28 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 27 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 25 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 25 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 24 Unlock Company Profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 24 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 19 Unlock Company Profile
Rokfin 18 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 17 Unlock Company Profile
SIDE 15 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 15 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 14 Unlock Company Profile
Cannae 14 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 13 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Labyrinth Research 12 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 12 Unlock Company Profile
Salesforce 12 Unlock Company Profile
BanQu 11 Unlock Company Profile
Security Matters 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 8 Unlock Company Profile
Intensity Analytics 8 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 8 Unlock Company Profile
MyOmega Systems 8 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 8 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 8 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mythical Venture 6 Unlock Company Profile
Inxeption 6 Unlock Company Profile
Phoenix Contact 6 Unlock Company Profile
Dragon Infosec 6 Unlock Company Profile
Stampery 6 Unlock Company Profile
Ali Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
SS&C Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nullable 6 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 6 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in distributed ledger transactions, nChain is one of the leading patent filers. The company was recently granted a patent for a method and system of verifying ownership of a digital asset using a distributed hash table and a peer-to-peer distributed ledger. Alibaba, Advanced New Technologies, and Ant Group are some of the other prominent patent filers in distributed ledger transactions.

In terms of application diversity, Ali Group held the top position, while BanQu and Security Matters stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, nChain leads the pack, followed by Intel and Oracle.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the banking industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Banking.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.