Northern Trust has been granted a patent for a system utilizing large language models to audit smart contracts on distributed ledgers. The technology can determine if a bytecode enables a smart contract, generating human-readable content for valid contracts and notices for invalid ones. GlobalData’s report on Northern Trust gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Northern Trust, was a key innovation area identified from patents. Northern Trust's grant share as of April 2024 was 73%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Auditing system for smart contracts using large language models

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Northern Trust Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11928438B1) describes a system that includes a computing instance hosting a large language model (LLM) trained to read bytecode for smart contracts on a distributed ledger. The system can determine if the bytecode enables a smart contract and take appropriate actions based on this determination. These actions include generating human-readable content describing the smart contract terms and outputting notices if the smart contract is not enabled. The system also includes logic to interact with users, receive network addresses, locate bytecode, and prompt the LLM for analysis. The computing instance can be a physical server or a set of physical servers, ensuring scalability and fault tolerance.

Furthermore, the patent includes claims for methods and non-transitory storage mediums storing instructions for the system's operation. The method involves hosting the LLM and logic, determining smart contract enablement, generating human-readable content, and outputting notices. The system's scalability and fault tolerance are highlighted, emphasizing its ability to handle a large volume of transactions reliably. The non-transitory storage medium stores instructions for the system's operation, ensuring consistency and reliability in executing the method. Overall, the patent outlines a comprehensive system for analyzing smart contracts on a distributed ledger, providing users with clear information and notifications based on the contract's validity.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.