US Leads Blockchain Research: UNCTAD

The United States is leading blockchain research, according to a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

During the period 1996-2018, there were 4,821 blockchain-related posts led by China (760), the United States (749), and the United Kingdom (255).

The top three affiliations were the Chinese Academy of Sciences (61/China), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (43/China), and Beihang University (31/China).

At the same time, 2,975 patents were registered and the top three nationalities of the assignees were the United States (1,277), Antigua and Barbuda (300) and China (270).

The main owners were nChain (336/UK), Mastercard (181/US) and IBM (134/US).

In general, US companies are the main service providers for this technology.

The top blockchain providers (providers as a service) include:

  • Alibaba (China).
  • Amazon.
  • IBM.
  • Microsoft.
  • Oracle
  • SAP (Germany).


The top user sectors measured by spending on blockchain services were finance, manufacturing, and retail sectors (IDC, 2019b).

On the demand side, growth is mainly driven by online transactions, digitization of currencies, secure online payment gateways, growing interest from the banking, financial services and insurance sectors, and the number of merchants. that accept cryptocurrencies.

The blockchain job market is growing very fast.

The demand for blockchain engineers in the United States increased 400% between 2017 and 2018.

The average income for a blockchain engineer is around $ 150,000-175,000 per year, which makes it higher than the average salary for a software engineer of $ 135,000.53 This trend is further driven by large tech companies. such as Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft, who are enthusiastically recruiting talent in this field.54

On the supply side, the fields of application for this technology have expanded to include financial transactions (online payments and credit and debit card payments), as well as IoT, healthcare, and supply chains.