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Good News: Cisco to Use Blockchain for Confidential Group Chats in Patent Filing


According to patent application files released on Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the IT and networking giant, Cisco, described how it intends to use blockchain to ensure more confidential and secure group messaging, file sharing and tracking of membership history.

The company says that it intends to use blockchain to address common challenges experienced by different ad hoc messaging groups.

How group membership is established, communicated, updated, and secured from unauthorized tampering … in the context of dynamic, decentralized, and self-organizing groups,

– SaysCisco.

The company explains that its method will allow ad hoc and decentralized group definition, dynamic and decentralized membership updates, open sharing and tamper resistance.

Establishing a Secure Network

The company says it has a method to establish a secured network by using cryptographic keys that will be shared among group participants to establish a peer-to-peer network. In other words, creating a decentralized group chat with only those members authorized to join it.

The first participant’s device will create the genesis block, and the subsequent communications will generate their own blocks as each member of the group adds on. All the actions of the chat, including adding and deleting members to the conservation, will be recorded in the subsequent blocks.

Other versions of the system could enable secure file sharing or instant messaging, according to the filing, which continued:

“In summary, presented herein is a method for achieving authorization in confidential group communications in terms of an ordered list of data blocks representing a tamper-resistant chronological account of group membership updates … There are many applications of these techniques. One such application is enabling end-to-end encryption of instant messaging, content sharing, and streamed media. This is useful in developing a protocol or application designed to enable confidential group communications.”

CoinDesk reports that the application was filed in December 2017 and the documentation is a continuation of a previous application in which Cisco had proposed to apply blockchain technology to track Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The publication of a patent application can grant the applicant certain provisional rights to the technology therein. If a patent is granted, the applicant can receive a reasonable royalty for infringing activity occurring from the date of publication of the patent application, to the issue date of the patent.

Cisco joins other tech based companies like Samsung who have shown greater interest in using blockchain for different aspects of their operations. Recently, Samsung announced that that it’s exploring how to use blockchain for supply management. It is  expected that many more companies will join the fray as more research is conducted into the immense potential of blockchain technology.

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What’s your take on the recent Cisco development? Do you think established companies in the world are now embracing blockchain technology and its immense capabilities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.