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In addition to 15 previously filed blockchain-related patents, Bank of America is now reportedly drafting up another 20 patents that will be submitted to the US Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) later this month.

While numerous reports from regulators, settling houses and even governments talk up the potential of Bitcoin’s underlying technology – the blockchain, Bank of America (BOA) is trying to get ahead in the blockchain space as one of the few big financial institutions actively filing patents related to crypto technology.

Speaking to CNBC, a spokesperson for the bank revealed that BOA is “currently in the process” of drafting 20 patent applications that are to be submitted to the USPTO later this month.

Chief operations and technology officer at BOA, Catherine Bessant spoke about blockchain technology at Davos last week. In an interview with CNBC, she stated:

As a technologist, the technology is fascinating. We have tried to stay on the forefront. I think we have somewhere around 15 patents, most people would be surprised at Bank of America with patents in the blockchain or cryptocurrency space.


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The end of December 2015 saw 10 Bank of America patent applications published by the USPTO in relation to cryptocurrencies. These patents were originally filed by the bank in June 2014. The patents filed were in addition to an existing patent application by the bank for a wire transfer system using cryptocurrencies.

“It’s very important in the intellectual property world to reserve our spot, even before we know what the commercial application [of blockchain] may be,” she added.

While it serves as idle speculation for now, a look at the patents filed reveals the bank’s plan to possibly devise a fully-customized cryptocurrency system and platform that facilitates and runs in tandem with fiat currency. The ten filed patent titles, besides the wire transfer system are:

  • Cryptocurrency Offline Vault Storage System.
  • Cryptocurrency Transformation System
  • Cryptocurrency Transaction Validation System.
  • Cryptocurrency Electronic Payment System.
  • Cryptocurrency Suspicious User Alert System.
  • Cryptocurrency Aggregation System.
  • Cryptocurrency Online Vault Storage System.
  • Cryptocurrency Transaction Payment System and,
  • Cryptocurrency Real-Time Conversion System.

Goldman Sachs is the other major financial institution that has been revealed to have filed a patent application for a cryptocurrency called SETL Coin, to be used for securities settlement. Devised as a platform contained within a peer-to-peer network, the patent mentions technology that aides in “nearly instantaneous execution and settlement.”

Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are also collaborating members of the R3-led blockchain consortium that is made up of 42 global banks. The consortium recently revealed the completion of a blockchain test spanning 11 global banks across four continents, connected together on an Ethereum powered, R3-managed distributed ledger. The test ran for continuously for five days and is now regarded as the first known private distributed ledger experiment of its kind among numerous financial institutions.

A representative for Bank of America wasn’t immediately available for comment at the time of publishing.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Samburaj Das