The said patent encompasses a security methodology for private keys as approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Aug. 15, 2017.
According to the published patent, the protocol says:
“A key ceremony application creates bundles for custodians encrypted with their passphrases. Each bundle includes master key share. The master key shares are combined to store an operational master key. The operational master key is used for private key encryption during a checkout process. The operational private key is used for private key decryption for transaction signing in a payment process. The bundles further include TLS keys for authenticated requests to create an API key for a web application to communicate with a service and to unfreeze the system after it has been frozen by an administrator.”
In simpler terms, you will see that the custodians are the heart for the Bitcoin private keys storage, distribution and overall utilization. It allows the custodians to make use of a specific key ceremony application, making the storing process safer and more secure.
Aside from this, the protocol also made transferring and sharing of private data through Coinbase possible.
Coinbase and other patents
For the past years, Coinbase has been awarded patents by the USPTO. In fact, this key ceremony patent is their fourth patent to date.
It seems like Coinbase has no plans to stop now that they have filed nine more patents related to private key security.
The key ceremony patent listed inventors James Bradley Hudon and Andrew Alness, two engineers from Coinbase who are now working for different companies.
They were in the Coinbase team when they submitted the application for the patent in May 2015.