The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the official document where they award a patent to the Bank of America for the invention of the private cryptographic keys offline storage solution.
A Tamper-Proof Device
According to the Bank of America, private keys are, in most cases, connected to the public network’s local storage, and are, therefore, vulnerable to various misappropriations.
They wanted to develop a more secure solution for storing private cryptographic keys.
Their newly patented device is, allegedly, tamper-responsive.
Any physical or non-physical tampering attempt will result in private cryptographic keys being deleted from the memory of the storage.
Being fully independent of a computing node requiring private cryptography keys stored inside, the yet unnamed device allows private keys to be accessible by the node, but not communicated to it when the node is executing the authentication routine.
The whole point of such a system is to make private keys stored in the device keys less prone to malicious actions.
Patents in the Crypto Community
Even though patents aren’t the most popular mechanisms in the open source world of cryptocurrencies, Bank of America already filed for more than 20.
The bank is thinking ahead, which is best portrayed by the fact that its patents cover every single area of the cryptocurrency business. From payment processing, including real-time conversion and transaction validation, across risk detection, to online, and now offline storage solutions.
However, this latest patent, although it mentions cryptocurrencies several times, doesn’t explicitly declare to be cryptocurrency oriented.
How Will Pioneers React?
All these Bank of America’s patents mean that financial establishment is taking new technologies seriously.
However, the world of cryptocurrencies is still dominated by the open source projects, first started by Bitcoin itself. It seems that hardly anybody from the ranks of these pioneering projects takes these patents seriously, nor is challenging them legally even though it has been established that, in some cases, patents protect the already existing technology.
That is, except for the creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, who has already made a move against one such patent.
It will be interesting to see which approach will be able to prevail in the coming years – the one that shares knowledge, creating the whole new market and industry in the process, or the one that jealousy keeps the revelations for itself.