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Fighting Spam with Blockchain: Salesforce Patents Blockchain-Based Anti-Spam System


A customer relations firm called Salesforce has won a patent that will allow the company to fight spam with blockchain technology. The patent was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on November 4th, and details a system that promises to improve on anti-spam measures in a brand new way.

Essentially, Salesforce will use a blockchain to ensure that the email messages that they distribute are authentic and have not been modified during transfer. Initially, an email server will have a message approved by a blockchain node. After that, another server will check the message against the blockchain before it reaches a customer. If there are any discrepancies, the email will be marked as spam.

Right now, spam detection is mainly accomplished through more basic measures — requiring individuals and administrators to set up automated systems and filters, for example. But both of these approaches are fallible, and a blockchain-based anti-spam solution would be able to detect spam messages more reliably. As the patent notes:

“Each existing anti-spam technique has trade-offs between incorrectly rejecting legitimate messages (false positives) versus not rejecting all spam (false negatives). As such, there is a need for improved electronic messaging systems and technologies for delivering electronic messages.”

However, the proposed solution may not be broadly applicable. Salesforce offers a platform that allows clients to send mass emails to their customers. Presumably, this spam solution would be used within the Salesforce platform itself.

That said, the patent does acknowledge that the solution could be used to validate medical records or education transcripts. This implies that it may be applied beyond Salesforce after all. But in any case, the proposed system does not seem to be a spam solution targeted at consumers or individuals.

It should also be noted that Salesforce’s proposal is just a patent at this stage. The firm has not revealed any details about if or when the system will be implemented. The CEO of Salesforce did however hint at the possibility of a blockchain platform earlier this year. This means that the anti-spam solution could come to fruition quickly — or that Salesforce has other plans for the blockchain in the pipeline.

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