Banking Giant Prepares for Crypto Mass Adoption
One of the largest banks in the United States, Bank of America (BofA), has applied for a blockchain patent for the secure storage of cryptocurrency. This patent application now joins almost 50 others filed by the bank in relation to blockchain and cryptocurrencies – reportedly the most among all companies, beating even tech giant IBM.
The application, entitled “Block Chain [sic] Encryption Tags,” was published by the US Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) August 23. It is described as, “A system that includes a device with a processor is configured to receive a first set of data elements and to obtain an encryption key from a memory.” In short, it implements encryption and links data units to the blocks of a certain blockchain as a system of data security.
The document states that this patent application is a reproduced version of a US non-provisional application filed in 2014 by James G. Ronca and titled “Cryptocurrency Online Vault Storage System.” The reason for this product, as the document further states, is, “Enterprises may handle a large number of financial transactions on a daily basis. As technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common. For some enterprises, it may be desirable to securely store cryptocurrency.”
“Customers may also use a peer-to-peer payment service to create a virtual account and associate such virtual account with an account at a financial institution. Such account may be associated with cryptocurrency. Using the peer-to-peer payment system, the customer may conduct transactions using the virtual account without the need to share their account information at the financial institution,” is another interesting part of the document, which recognizes the need for more privacy in transactions.
However, BofA has previously spoken out against the anonymity of cryptocurrencies. Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett of BofA wrote that Bitcoin is tracking the downfalls of the other massive asset-price bubbles in history less than one year out from its record, comparing it, for example, to the famed tulip mania of the Dutch. The growing number of blockchain and cryptocurrency-related patent filings could be their bid in being among the first to offer services in the growing industry.
“We’ve got under 50 patents in the blockchain/distributed ledger space. While we’ve not found large-scale opportunities, we want to be ahead of it, we want to be prepared,” Bank of America’s chief technology officer, Catherine Bessant, was quotes as saying by Fortune in June.