U.S. and China account for 75% of all blockchain-related patents, hold majority of digital economy's wealth: UNCTAD
Fri, 06 Sep 2019, 03:43 am UTC
A vast majority of wealth in the digital economy is highly concentrated in the United States and China, accounting for 75% of all patents related to blockchain technologies, according to the first-ever Digital Economy Report 2019 released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
“Wealth creation in the digital economy is highly concentrated in the United States and China, with the rest of the world, especially countries in Africa and Latin America, trailing considerably far behind,” the report stated.
The study, launched at the UN headquarters in New York, together with Geneva, New Delhi, and Tokyo, revealed that three-fourths of all blockchain-related patents are from the United States and China. In addition, both countries also account for 50% of global spending on the Internet of Things (IoT), over 75% of the cloud computing market, and as high as 90% of the market capitalization value of the world’s 70 largest digital platform firms.
Notably, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the trend is likely to continue under the existing regulations.
“We must work to close the digital divide, where more than half the world has limited or no access to the Internet. Inclusivity is essential to building a digital economy that delivers for all,” he stressed.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said that people in developing countries must be allowed “to take part in the new digital world, not just as users and consumers, but also as producers, exporters, and innovators… on their path towards inclusive prosperity.”
The report stressed that governments need to play a critical role in shaping the digital economy, by imposing the rules of the game. This includes adapting existing policies, laws, and regulations.
However, when it comes to the number of patents involving blockchain being granted, South Korea has the highest rate in the world at 54%, based on a ranking done by IAM, a platform for intellectual property business media. Japan came in second at 17% and followed by the United States at 16%. China is poorly performing at a measly 2%.
But the figures do not tell the complete story. On the matter of actual innovations involving the distributed ledger technology, China and the United States lead the pack, comprising 84% of the developments in the nascent industry.
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