Bank of America Holds over 50 Blockchain Patents
At the end of last month, the Bank of America (BofA) added another patent pertaining to cryptocurrencies to its already exhaustive list of filed patents. Bank of America is the second largest bank in the United States and has been the leader in the informal blockchain patent race.
There seems to be a trend among banks and financial institutions where they are not in favor of cryptocurrencies but are looking to explore the possibilities of blockchain technology. Most of the filed patents from the banking giant are based on the fintech industry.
Notably, BofA filed its first patent related to blockchain back in March 2014. This patent was published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO is responsible for awarding patents and copyrights in the country.
BofA was among the first financial institutions that provided coverage to Bitcoin back in 2013. The bank published a report which was compiled by strategists David Woo, Vadim Iaralov and Ian Gordon. This report was titled “Bitcoin: a first assessment”.
“Bitcoin could become a major means of payment for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money transfer providers. As a medium of exchange, Bitcoin has clear potential for growth.”
In September 2015, BofA was awarded a patent joining R3, a consortium of more than 200 members that includes fintech companies, trade associations, and banks who are working towards the development of blockchain solutions.
“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 place.”
According to a research conducted by Marc Kaufman, an attorney that co-chairs the U.S Chamber of Digital Commerce and the Blockchain Intellectual Property Council said that BofA held the most number of patents (45) among all companies. The bank has surpassed the number of patents of companies such as Alibaba, IBM and even banks such as the Royal Bank of Canada (RBoC) which holds eight patents, grabbing the second place.
Catherine Bessant told CNBC news in 2016 that
“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.”
“Clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies.”
The Bank of America has acquired patents related to
Multiple digital signatures
External validation of data
Cryptocurrency exchange system