当然，许多专利申请被拒绝，专利并不总是转化为实际产品。但汤森路透实际法编辑Alex Batteson在一份声明中指出，专利吸引投资并能成为一种有用的市场屏障。换句话说， “他们是一种可以阻止竞争对手并为先动者提供优势的工具。技术领域的许多大公司使他们的大部分收入来自专利技术许可。“中国公司对采用这项技术特别感兴趣。众安在线是一家保险技术公司，它使用区块链跟踪家禽的生命周期，因此消费者可以放心他们正在吃有机养殖的鸡。在线零售商京东在实验中将这项技术应用于供应链，以追踪购买者的国内和国际牛肉产品。
How hot is blockchain in China? “Even vendor aunties selling vegetables are talking about blockchain” is a saying spreading widely on social media—and it isn’t much of an exaggeration. Chinese companies, if not street hawkers, are racing to file patents tied to the technology that makes it hard to tamper with information.
Last year more than half of the world’s approximately 400 blockchain-related patent applications were from China, according to Thomson Reuters, which sourced data from the World Intellectual Patent Organization, a self-funding group under the United Nations. China nearly quadrupled its number of such filings in 2016.
Of course, many applications for patents are rejected, and a patent doesn’t always translate into an actual product. But patents attract investment and serve as useful market barriers, noted Alex Batteson, editor at Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law, in a statement. “They are a tool that can shut out competitors and provide first movers an advantage. Many of the largest companies in the tech world make the majority of their income from licensing patented technology.”Chinese companies are especially enthusiastic about adopting the technology. ZhongAn Online, an insurance-technology firm, uses blockchain to track the life cycles of poultry, so consumers can rest assured they’re eating organically farmed chickens. Online retailer JD.com has experimentally applied the technology in supply chains to track domestic and international beef products for shoppers.
Blockchain was also a surprisingly hot topic at the recent Two Sessions meeting, China’s biggest annual political gathering. Even though authorities have cracked down on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency mining and trading, the government, too, is turning to blockchain, aiming to create its own digital currency.