Digital Asset Holdings (DAH) has joined the growing number of startups and incumbents looking to file patents related to distributed ledger tech.
The patent application for an "Intermediary Electronic Settlement Platform", filed in April and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Friday, is for a method of trading a wide range of traditional digital assets on a distributed ledger, including, but not limited to, a blockchain.
Among the key differentiators between DAH's solution and more traditional open-source blockchains are an attention to regulatory demands and a diverse set of demands upon the network's nodes.
From the patent:
"Some nodes, such as signing servers, for example, may optionally store only a partial copy of the distributed blockchain."
In addition to providing a modified version of how distributed nodes operate, the patent makes explicitly clear that it is designed to serve as a more regulatory-friendly way to trade a number of assets, including fungible assets, references to title for an asset and other obligations and authorizations.
Specifically, the settlement platform includes some nodes that store a complete version of the data history on multiple interface servers, client machines, a persistence unit, a cache unit and a coordination unit coupled to the data server.
But this isn’t the only difference between Digital Asset’s platform and a public blockchain.
The network also includes multiple provisions to help make it easier for the platform's users to be compliant with required standards of transparency, risk management and regulation.
From the application:
"By utilizing a digital asset intermediary electronic settlement platform in accordance with the principles of the present inventive concept, trusted third parties can continue to monitor and exercise behavioral control of digital assets without having to be the legal custodian. This allows users to truly control their assets, and trusted third parties to continue to enforce legal behavior and provide settlement efficiencies."
Until recently, the New York-based startup that has raised a total of more than $60m venture capital appears to have been focused on using its technology to help other companies build their own proofs-of-concept, including the DTCC back in March, and most recently Six Securities, earlier this month.
But with the publication of the patent application DAH's next steps may now be more clear. (DAH did not reply to request for further comment).
Application number 62178315 was published the same day the office published an application by Nasdaq for a "closed blockchain" order book and matching engine. Both patents deal with ways to record data on a blockchain and execute trades.
In August, CoinDesk published an article titled "The Looming War For Blockchain Patents" focusing on several instances of what was then more than 60 patents featuring blockchain.
That number is now up to 74, and presumably, still counting. A search for the word bitcoin now reveals 574 pending patent applications.