Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), the second-largest bank in the United States by assets, has applied for a blockchain-related patent associated with the development of a new cryptocurrency wallet. The latest patent, entitled “Multi-Tiered Digital Wallet Security,” is the latest in a string of over 60 blockchain-related patents that the bank has filed recently.
BofA filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for “facilitating multi-tiered digital wallet security where users may be able to hold their digital currency more safely and securely as compared to existing digital wallet infrastructure.”
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Combining usability with high-level privacy, anonymity, and security, the proposed wallet may be further secured by a multi-signature contract which requires the entry of passwords and/or biometric data by each user before access to the central core.
The latest BofA patent also describes a new system where signature passwords may be entered only by users located within a particular geographical region.
The proposed patent mimics the core idea of multisig e-wallets, which require a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed, a security layer that reduces the risk of fraud. However, the filing says existing crypto wallets either require users to maintain their own private keys or trusting the third parties to ensure the safety of their private keys. Such arrangements involve the risk of forgetting or mishandling private keys and thus losing access to their digital wallets, it says.
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The document further explains that through the wallet, the user may be able to hold tokens, funds, or any other asset associated with a decentralized P2P system. Furthermore, the user may be able to use the wallet to request performance of network-specific functions related to the P2P system such as asset transfers.
“The digital wallet interface may further include a plurality of wallet tiers which may provide additional logical abstraction layers through which users may associate and access portions of their digital currency,” it adds.
The proposed “multi-tiered wallet interface” marks the latest in a string of BofA’s investments into the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, after it has filed over 66 related patents through August of this year. Bank of America is already the largest holder of blockchain-related patents in the United States, surpassing tech giants like Microsoft.
Still, while the lender has filed this impressive number of blockchain patents, with inventions ranging from crypto-powered ATMs to storage for private keys, it doesn’t necessarily mean that each patent will result in a working product.
And more importantly, while the bank is taking the lead on blockchain innovations, it has joined other lenders in seeking to distance itself from the cryptocurrency space. Specifically, BofA last year banned its clients from all cryptocurrency purchases using their credit cards.