Northern Trust wins blockchain patent for storing meeting minutes


Northern Trust, a financial services firm, yesterday (June 7) won a patent filing for a method of storing meeting records using blockchain technology.

The company has been enjoying the benefits of the technology for some time, having created its own private blockchain with IBM for data capture at the beginning of 2017.

The new patent, however, refers to the process of using smart contracts to capture data directly from meetings, such as attendance records, and when and where the meetings took place.

According to the filing, during a meeting, a first smart contract could authenticate and record attendees in a digital record based on biometric information received from their devices; a second smart contract could meanwhile capture the actions of each attendee, while a third which can “auto-populate” post-meeting documentation.

This process is backed by a second patent win on Wednesday relating to digital identity management, working by generating “cryptographic hashes” for reference of the documents and biometric information, which contributes ultimately to fully-encrypted meeting records stored on the company’s internal blockchain.

“We have developed a number of blockchain innovations that may be applied to multiple business activities and product offerings, with private equity fund administration being only one example of many potential use cases,” commented Justin Chapman, global head of market advocacy and innovation research at Northern Trust.


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