Northern Trust Scores Patent for Keeping Records Of Meeting Minutes on Blockchain

Northern Trust Meeting on Blockchain

Financial Services company Northern Trust revealed they won a patent for a method for backing up meeting records using blockchain tech.

The new method involves using a series of smart contracts to capture data related to the meeting. This includes the attendees (sourced from devices they might carry) when the meeting took place ad where the meeting transpired. Northern Trust has been using a private blockchain it set up with IBM, used to capture key data since 2017.

Northern Trust’s patent homes in on a specific use case-event data- but this shows the firm’s trend of gathering operational data using a distributed system.

As their filing explained:

“During the meeting, a first smart contract may authenticate and record attendees in the digital meeting record based on biometric information received from the attendees’ devices… a second smart contract may capture in the digital meeting record, meeting actions of each attendee, including date, time, and location associated with the meeting actions. After the meeting, a third smart contract may auto-populate post meeting documentation.”

Northern Trust also won another patent, this time on digital identity management. The second patent focuses on the generation of one-directional cryptographic hashes of reference documents and biometric information.

Both patents work together as the digital meeting records would be tied up to a set of digital identity records. The records of the meetings would also use one or more encryption keys, generating an encrypted version of the records, which are then appended to a blockchain by the network node.

The goal is to “integrate interactions between digital identities within the blockchain, authentication and recording processes using biometric information, document storage in a repository, and one or more smart contracts managing meeting activities in real-time.”

Justin Chapman, the Global Head of market advocacy and innovation research at Northern Trust later added in a statement that:

“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.”

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