Bank of America (BoA) has revealed its continued pursuit of cryptocurrency patents. Last year the legacy institution applied for 15 blockchain related concepts, but now a spokesperson says they are drafting another 20 more to the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Traditional finance businesses and central banks have been concerned since they’ve been hearing about the powerful FinTech innovations transforming our world. Some of these technologies like cryptocurrency and distributed ledgers are disrupting how our economy works. As these innovations are creeping into the mainstream, a great number of banks have joined in on the research and development of these concepts. Nearly every well-known institution that operates in the finance world has joined in on what some call hype. Bank of America surely doesn’t think so as it revealed to CNBC that they are applying for 20 more blockchain patents as we speak.
At the recently held World Economic Forum event in Davos, Catherine Bessant, the chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America told CNBC:
Blockchain is very intriguing and for us it’s a balance between not wanting to be Neanderthal but not wanting to put something out in a commercial application where the commercial application is still very unclear as a technologist, the technology is fascinating.
The bank says it wants to keep a leg up on intellectual property related to the distributed ledger space. The USPTO reports have shown that the company has filed more patents than most with its latest filing spree. In December, some of the concepts USPTO published detailed a payment transaction system, and a user alert platform from the first batch of ideas filed in June. Meanwhile, BoA’s competitors are doing the same. Goldman Sachs filed a patent for a cryptocurrency settlement and securities concept that the USPTO published last year. BoA thinks they should also lock in these applications, so they are entitled to a piece of the future. Bessant states:
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. [It’s] very important in the intellectual property world to reserve our spot even before we know what the commercial application might be.
Global lenders, stock markets, and banks definitely do not want to “lose their lunch” in the finance world, and as Bank of America and others are taking the proactive approach. Talks of cryptocurrency applications and blockchain discussions are becoming more prevalent in the finance industry every day. Incumbent financial organizations are sponsoring events and hiring developers to spruce up their backend technology and cut costs. It’s clear that as time progresses most of these businesses would rather get on board than become obsolete. So it is understandable that the US banking giant is scrambling to lock down intellectual property with patents before anyone else uses this emerging technology against them.
What do you think about BOA’s latest patent announcement? Let us know in the comments below.
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