Northern Trust won two patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office on 5 June 2018 for blockchain technology which will record business meetings on an immutable blockchain ledger. Northern Trust is a financial services company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois that has over USD 100 billion of assets and brings in over USD 1 billion profits annually.
The first patent describes systems and methods for digital meeting management within a blockchain. A first smart contract is generated at the beginning of the meeting to authenticate and record attendees in the digital meeting using biometric information from attendee’s devices. A second smart contract is generated during the meeting to record actions of attendees including date, time, and location.
After the meeting, a third smart contract is generated which stores post meeting documentation including meeting minutes. A hash is then generated for this documentation, and it is stored permanently on a blockchain after being reviewed by meeting attendees.
Once added to the blockchain the meeting minutes become immutable, providing a permanent record of who attended the meeting, what occurred during the meeting, and promises and decisions made during the meeting. This record is cryptographically secure and cannot be hacked or manipulated at a later time.
The second patent complements the first patent; it describes the technology which will be used to store biometric identification information and documents on the blockchain by generating one-directional cryptographic hashes.
This technology will help reduce fraud in business and ensure that meeting attendees stand by their commitments. It will also help bosses and employees keep track of what happened at each meeting, since they can go back to the blockchain at any time for any meeting in the past. This will be particularly helpful for people that miss meetings.
The digital meeting blockchain technology described in these patents will be helpful for any business or organization that has meetings and is yet another example of an ever-expanding list of real-life uses for blockchain technology.
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