Bank of America files patent to build a blockchain and... store cryptocurrencies?

25 Aug, 2018
by Paula D. Baciu
Bank of America files patent to build a blockchain and... store cryptocurrencies?

The relationship between US financial institutions and cryptocurrencies is undoubtedly complicated. And the fact that the Bank of America has just filed a(nother) patent to adopt blockchain technology and implement cryptocurrency storage and operations doesn’t make things any clearer.

The document comprised by the Bank of America aims to solve this problem by constructing its own blockchain system and protocol (“encryption method”) and… wallet? The patent claims “a device, comprising: a memory operable to store encryption keys” and a processor configured to “receive a first set of data elements” and store it on the blockchain. While it does not make a direct reference to cryptocurrencies, the source it subsequently cites does.

The patent cites James G. Ronca et al.’s 2014 patent entitled “Cryptocurrency online vault storage system” (or “online wallets”, in plain English). The document explains that certain enterprises have lately become more open towards performing transactions with and storing their assets in cryptocurrencies. It then proceeds to describe the various forms cryptocurrencies are stored at present by enterprises.

Ronca et al. clearly desired to build a cryptocurrency wallet, as they claimed “a system comprising of a memory and a processor communicatively coupled to the memory [...]” that would allow the system to store the private key associated with a cryptocurrency and generate two wallet (“vault”) keys that would be stored in two separate data centers. In other words, a program that would encrypt your private key and store it on two separate servers at the same time.

While the intentions expressed by the Bank of America are not exactly the same, the financial institution surely has something in mind to meet the needs of those enterprises that chose to employ cryptocurrencies for financial operations. The question is how exactly are they going to do this without the support of the US authorities? Well, perhaps nothing is settled yet with respect to the intentions of US officials with cryptocurrencies.

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