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Bank of America files cryptocurrency patent

The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a patent filed by US financial services giant Bank of America that seeks to protect a system for wire transfers using cryptocurrency technology.

The patent, filed on 17th March, 2014, and published 17th September, seeks to protect a

A pile of Bitcoins

Bank of America files cryptocurrency patent

system by which electronic funds could be sent between customer accounts using the underlying blockchain of a given cryptocurrency as the rails for payment – according to CoinDesk.

The system described, for example, would enable customer funds to be converted at a cryptocurrency exchange and then sent to a second cryptocurrency exchange to be converted into a foreign currency before the value is moved to a recipient.

Part of the filing, authored by Thomas Edward Durbin and James Gregory Ronca reads: “Enterprises handle a large number of foreign wire transfer requests on a daily basis. As technology advances, foreign transactions have become more common. For some customers, it may be desirable to conduct a foreign wire transfer in less time than what current foreign wire transfer systems allow.”

Durbin and Ronca suggest that such a system would be designed to “bypass” traditional wire transfer services, “reducing dependency on third-party networks” and “increasing the reliability of fund transfers”.

“Initiating fund transfers using cryptocurrency allows for the technical effect of conducting a foreign fund transfer in less time than a foreign fund transfer currently, as it avoids delays that may be caused by relying on third-party systems and services,” the filing continues.

Further, it suggests that fund transfers using cryptocurrency would reduce the need to transfer customer information to a “third-party system”, thereby “increasing control and security of customer data” during such transactions.

While the filing uses the term “cryptocurrency” generally throughout, it does name bitcoin, litecoin,Ripple and dogecoin as specific examples.

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