Bank of America Wins Patent for Storing Clients’ Crypto Holdings in Enterprise Accounts

The Bank of America (BoA) has won a patent for a system for enterprises to store customers’ crypto deposits, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday, Nov. 13.

The patent, first filed in mid-June 2014, outlines the background to the invention by stating that “as technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common,” and noting:

“For some enterprises, it may be desirable to aggregate cryptocurrency deposited by customers in an enterprise account.”

The patent filing outlines different interactions between customers’ crypto holdings and an enterprise account, with the latter functioning to securely store (or “aggregate”) customers’ crypto deposits. In one proposed setup, the enterprise account itself would be able to conduct transactions on customers’ behalf, debiting or crediting the customer accounts in question as appropriate.

To this end, the patent outlines methods for storing private keys associated with customers’ accounts, determining public keys, and generating “vault keys” for storage.

In other instances, the patent suggests that aggregating customer crypto deposits in an enterprise account could “negate” the need for the enterprise’s customers to use a third-party exchange to convert currency, thereby “simplifying the purchase and exchange of currencies and cryptocurrencies and reducing the fees associated with doing so.”

To achieve this end, the filing outlines an example in which an enterprise cryptocurrency server could communicate over a network with a third-party cryptocurrency exchange server (giving OKCoin and Bitstamp as examples).

The document also deals with tackling crypto-fiat conversions, outlining that the system would be able to “determine a plurality of exchange rates associated with converting the first currency into the second currency and determine an optimal exchange rate,” initiating an “essentially simultaneous” conversion.

As previously reported, the Bank of America has filed over 50 blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related patents to date, even as it maintains a publicly critical stance toward decentralized crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).

The bank’s most recent crypto-related patent award, which was sealed Oct. 30, referenced storage methods for private keys, with the perspective that current systems for ensuring they remain untampered are inadequate.