On October 4, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a blockchain-based system that allows for third-party administering of smart contracts, if some illegal activities are detected.
The patent filing describes a method that enables authorized parties to freeze or block user accounts associated with illegal transactions. As emphasized by the authors of the document, though featuring a number of advantageous traits like transparency, unchangeability, and decentralization, the blockchain technology is still not geared for specific cases in a real life environment.
“In real life, however, there is a type of administrative intervention activities in the category of special transactions. For example, when a user performs illegal activities, a court order may be executed to freeze the user’s account. However, this operation activity conflicts with smart contracts in existing blockchains and cannot be carried out,” – the patent filing explains.
Notably, Alibaba is the world leader in the number of blockchain-related patents. The company managed to file 90 patents, as of August 10.
As it became known back in April, Alibaba had been testing a blockchain platform designed for tracking supply chains and preventing fraud in food trade.