Blockchain 20 Years in the Future — KISSPatent


Technology moves so fast that even trying to predict next year’s newest and best is nearly impossible.

But it’s possible to look at technologies that have made our world what it is today — and look back at their simple beginnings, 20 years ago.

One example is the CDN (content delivery network). While not a household name, CDNs make our world of freely shareable mobile content possible. CDNs distribute content — including such bandwidth-hungry content as videos — across multiple servers or server farms, throughout the world. They enable content to be distributed much more quickly internationally, avoid single points of failure, and can also protect against DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

Still, why 20 years?


Akamai came up with the initial concept.

The startup was one of the finalists in the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, in 1998. This business plan competition features teams that include at least one MIT student, going head to head for $50,000 (now $100,000). The Akamai team included MIT professor of mathematics Tom Leighton and one of his Ph.D. students, Danny Lewin. As a result, Akamai’s earliest patents were owned by MIT and licensed to Akamai.

Now, 20 years later, it’s clear that the World Wide Web, and incredibly fast access to even heavy videos, wouldn’t have been possible without the CDN. Before the CDN, the World Wide Web was disparagingly referred to as the “World Wide Wait”. Without a solution to this severe problem, the online world as we know it simply wouldn’t exist.

But 20 years is important for another reason — it’s the lifetime of a patent!

So patents that we file today, on technologies like blockchain, have the potential to revolutionize the world for the next 20 years. We need to plan not only for today’s idea protection but for the long term future as well.


Akamai has done quite well from its patents. They were able to reach agreements with competitors like Limelight, and to acquire other competitors like Speedera at great prices — all on the basis of their strong patent portfolio.

Without Akamai’s group of patents, competitors could have copied their technology — and taken their clients. But because Akamai had many patents and was quick to file, it grew from a tiny startup to a behemoth with a market cap of over $14 billion, and nearly $3 billion in revenues last year.

Plus, we’ve been able to enjoy uninterrupted video streaming, content sharing, and online life!


So, the question for blockchain innovators really isn’t what will happen with blockchain in the next 2–3 years, it’s actually what will happen in 20 years!

20 years isn’t just some random number, it’s incidentally the lifespan of a patent.

See, Akamai was truly visionary in thinking so far ahead and, more importantly, they were also very smart about their long-term patent strategy.

A strategic patent partner will advise you through every step of the way — they will help you understand blockchain and what you can do with your innovation up to 20 years from now and revolutionize the process. It’s profoundly valuable to think so far ahead.

If you only change bit by bit, someone will eventually come along and flatten you out. Start thinking large-scale.

A comprehensive intellectual property portfolio can be of substantial value — for bolstering market position, protecting research and development efforts, generating revenue, and encouraging favorable cross-licensing or settlement agreements.

Lay the foundation for success, stay ahead of the curve, and reach out to an expert!

We are your go-to resource for all things Patent and IP! Learn how you can secure and grow your startup with instructive daily insights from our Learning Hub:

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If you have questions regarding your particular business scenario, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re more than happy to help! Schedule a call with our experts here:

Originally published at on November 12, 2019.



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Dvorah Graeser

Dvorah Graeser

CEO of KISSPatent, providing strategic patent protection for tech startups