Bank of America Tries To Patent Bitcoin Related Crypto Currency Technologies

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bitcoin blockchain image Mainstream financial institutions are now looking to leverage the value found in blockchain systems, the underlying technology that powers crypto currencies like Bitcoins. These financial establishments are now exploring new ways to incorporate this blockchain technology in their on-going operations.

The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published 10 patents filed by US financial services major Bank of America that involve using the cryptocurrency technology. The Bank of America had filed these patents back in August 2014.

The 10 patents filed cover a wide range of functions that incorporate this blockchain technology. They include a cryptocurrency transaction payment system where customers can make payment using digital currencies, a new form of decentralized settlement systems which allows cryptocurrency transactions and settlement, and processes using the technology for risk detection, offline support and fraud detection.

In one of the patents (Cryptocurrency Transaction Payment System, Patent #20150363770.), it stated, “A system comprises a memory operable to store a customer account associated with a customer and a processor communicatively coupled to the memory. The processor is able encode cryptocurrency information associated with the customer account onto a payment instrument. The processor is also able to receive a request for a cryptocurrency transaction from the customer using the payment instrument.”  

Although the patents have not been yet granted, this move has however drawn much flak from Bitcoin and security experts as none of the patents filed are in any way original or innovative. A number of patents filed by Bank of America to incorporate these technology systems as their own invention are already in use by various Bitcoin start-ups and blockchain specialists. This has led to allegations that these patents are an obvious theft of existing concepts and models and that Bank of America is taking credit for ideas developed by others firms.

While Bank of America is yet to respond to these allegations, industry experts believe that Bank of America is intending to use these patents to develop and implement an alternative financial back-end system based on blockchain technology. It has also joined a consortium led by R3, a New York-based Bitcoin start-up, to globally to explore the potential of blockchain technology in collaboration with forty one different banks.

Bank of America is not the only financial institution investigating blockchain and related technology for new uses. Recently, IBM, the London Stock Exchange, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo recently launched a consortium titled Open Ledger Project and Goldman Sachs also filed a patent for its own digital currency, SETLCoin. Aite Group estimates that these financial institutions have invested close to $75 million to research bitcoin technology.

January 19, 2016: • No Comments

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