The United States Postal Service (USPS) had filed a patent last September for a system with public and private keys and a “block chain [sic] component” for authenticating user information, according to a patent filing released yesterday, March 22, by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent, titled “Methods and Systems for a Digital Trust Architecture,” notes that users today cannot always be sure that online transactions are secure and trustworthy:
“As more of life's daily interactions move to online activities, it is apparent that the tools that provide trust to the users are lacking in their ability to adequately provide a desired level of security. Tools that have evolved from physical interactions, like face-to-face communication, and the ability to "go there" to resolve issues, are not possible in a digital environment.”
In order to address this issue, the USPS seeks to implement a “digital trust architecture” made up of a “user account enrollment and verification component” based on user identity information; a “key provisioning component configured to generate a public and private key for the user account;” a user email component for signing the email with a private key; a data access component for accessing sensitive data; and a Blockchain component for adding the records to the Blockchain.
The Office of the Inspector General of the USPS had released a report in May 2016 called “Blockchain Technology: Possibilities for the U.S. Postal Service” that looked into how Blockchain technology could be used by the USPS in the future, once the technology had become more developed.
Several companies have filed patents in the US for Blockchain technology recently, from Chinese company Lenovo’s patent application in February for Blockchain document verification to PayPal’s patent application earlier this month for a system to speed up crypto trading transaction times.