Sony Patent Filings Hint at Work on Crypto Mining Hardware
Japanese technology giant Sony wants to patent two approaches to hosting and maintaining blockchains, newly published documents show.
Japanese technology giant Sony wants to patent two hardware approaches for hosting and maintaining blockchains, newly published documents show.
Sony's two filings are entitled "Electronic Node and Method for Maintaining a Distributed Ledger" and "Device and System," revealing for the first time that the company is working on blockchain-related hardware concepts. They also set the stage for the company to potentially include these devices in a future product.
In the past, as previously reported by CoinDesk, the tech company has filed patent applications centered largely around the technology's use cases, including education data management and security.
The first application includes two elements: a hardware node and a method for maintaining the blockchain, which it repeatedly describes as a "mining process." Indeed, in one incarnation of the proposed invention, the nodes would operate a network that's akin to bitcoin's, which is an open-access network with a token.
As the application explains:
This isn't to say that Sony is launching its own cryptocurrency. But here, it seems that Sony is leaving the door open to the possibility by establishing the claim that its proposed invention could serve that purpose.
In the second application, "Device and System," Sony hones in on the security risks in a network that only has a small number of nodes.
Because "the number of devices accessing and contributing to the distributed ledger may be small, such that security issues occur," Sony proposes essentially boosting that number through the use of virtual nodes. The device proposed in that filing would "[host] a plurality, e.g. 10, 100 or even thousands of virtual nodes, such that the number of virtual nodes may be much higher, e.g. ten times larger, than the [total] number of devices."
Ultimately, the submissions appear less focused on the type of distributed ledger and more on the hardware and operational methods themselves. Sony indicates that the networks could be public or private, and could rely on either Sony's own software or "distributed database technologies like Hadoop," as one of the filings states.
Sony image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.