Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) may be looking to invent a new contract agreements system based on blockchain technology, according to a patent application published on Thursday.
According to cointelegraph, the world’s fourth-largest telecom provider has detailed how it could use the application to store contracts without allowing documents to be tampered with. As outlined, the system would use a blockchain to both encrypt the contract, as well as store it in a decentralized manner, which can simplify the process by which it is verified by removing the need for a centralized management system.
NTT’s patent application writes that a problem with contracts on blockchain is that each transactions “contains only the electronic signature of the sender” as the “evidence of contract agreement but the receiver is not left in the transaction.”
The patent suggests a simple, possible way to solve this problem is to, for example, include the electronic signatures of all the involved parties in one transaction.
The document explains:
The present invention uses a blockchain as evidence of a contract made among a plurality of parties. A contract here refers to a sales contract, a deed of transfer, an application, a consent agreement, or the like, and is a document describing the content of a contract made among two or more individuals or bodies.
The document says that all parties wishing to be involved in the agreement would link transactions to this principal virtual contract transaction, which would eventually be returned to the contract-issuing party to close the chain of transactions.
After the closure, the patent explains there would be an “agreement verification apparatus” to make sure that evidence of the contract on the blockchain is correct by comparing the public keys used for electronic signatures at the start of the blockchain, with the ones used at the end.
As the fourth largest telephone operating company in the world with a valuation of about $94.2 billion, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone was categorical last year that emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) were making information and communications technology needs increasingly more complex.
Increased Interest in Blockchain by Mainstream Firms
NTT’s interest in using blockchain is not the first among the mainstream major firms. Earlier this week, we reported that both Mastercard and Boeing had acquired patents to use blockchain in different areas. More companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Google have shown immense interest in blockchain too, while Samsung has been using the technology to enhance its logistics and supply business.
Cointelegraph reports that the telecom industry stands to gain immensely from blockchain in the next five years. A report released earlier this month highlights how the technology could contribute almost $1 billion in value to the sector by 2023, from just $46 million today.
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