IBM Has Filed for a Blockchain-Based Web Browser Patent
Ginni Rometty, Chief Executive Officer of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), speaks during the IBM InterConnect 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. David Becker/Bloomberg

Technology giant IBM is looking to acquire a blockchain-based web browser patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, according to an application filed on 6 August.

According to the filing, the web browser will gather pre-specified information from browsing sessions, which will then be transferred to a peer-to-peer network for on-chain storage. There would be different settings for the gathered information, depending if the user is on a personal computer, or a work one. Examples of the data stored include bookmarks, visited websites, cookies, geolocation, browser security patches and others. The filing also claims that:

“The present invention affords a system for storing browsing information such that privacy is preserved and places privacy in the ‘hands of a user’ rather than a third party.”

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One of the examples given of a use case is in the event of an attack on a computer’s browser. As the data will be secured by blockchain technology, a backup of the information will always be available.

The filing also shows that IBM decided to include a token in the model of their browser, and even though the name of the token is not specified, it will be used to verify the browsing sessions of the user, as they are packaged into blocks on the network. The filing also gives us a few examples of the uses of said token:

“The browser tokens may include inputs such as user generated queries (including user interactions with a web browser interface), program/service execution results (e.g. vulnerability scanner, information flow analysis, malware detection tools, response to a user query, etc.), user cohort and context; output such as risk assessment, forecast, etc.”

IBM, in partnership with blockchain company Chainyard, also launched a blockchain network for supply chain management last week, called Trust Your Supplier which is already backed by big companies such as Lenovo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, Nokia, and Schneider Electric.

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