Is Bank of America about to change its stance on cryptocurrency trading? That seems to be the case with the bank’s latest move to apply a patent for a cryptocurrency exchange with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
But Bank of America’s move is a bit confusing. The company has been known for hostile behavior towards Bitcoin trading even going so far as closing customer accounts if they are revealed to be trading in the cryptocurrency. Is Bank of America’s latest patent move a signal for a shift in policy or an indication toward monopolizing cryptocurrency trading in the future?
During the first week of December, the second largest bank in the U.S., Bank of America (BOA), was awarded a cryptocurrency exchange patent. The BOA cryptocurrency trading platform’s concept summary outlines three types of accounts where users and businesses can swap digital assets instantly.
Bank of America Receives Approval for a Cryptocurrency Exchange Patent
On December 5 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted the financial institution Bank of America a patent to build a cryptocurrency exchange. The patent’s summary describes three types of accounts within the platform’s system. The first account is for customers to store their digital funds. The second and third accounts operated by the business are called “float accounts” which allow quick digital asset swaps from behind the scenes similar to a centralized Shapeshift concept.
BOA is one of the most active banks filing for blockchain and cryptocurrency-related patents over the past few years. Last summer the firm applied for over twenty patents this past August covering digital asset solutions to public and private blockchain concepts. The digital asset trading platform patent was filed in 2014 during the month of June. The patent called the “cryptocurrency transformation system” is explained quite thoroughly within the summary.
“The system further comprises a processor communicatively coupled to the memory — The processor may receive an electronic request for a currency exchange and determine exchange rates for exchanging a first currency for a second currency,” explains the BOA patent 9836790. “The processor may also determine an optimal exchange rate.”
In response to determining the optimal exchange rate, the processor may determine a first amount of the first currency and associate the first amount with the customer account. The processor may also transfer the first amount of the first currency into the first float account and determine a second amount of the second currency. The processor is further able to associate the second amount with the second float account and transfer the second amount of the second currency to the customer.
While BOA Captures the Most Cryptocurrency Patents, the Company Also Likes to Close Customer Accounts if They Trade Bitcoin
In addition to BOA trying to capture a lot of blockchain and cryptocurrency patents, the company isn’t too friendly towards bitcoin traders. The financial institution has been well-known for closing people’s bank accounts if they trade bitcoin. There are many instances where BOA closed a customer’s account for purchasing cryptocurrencies using applications like Coinbase which deposits money into checking or savings accounts. In fact, this December one customer was sent an 8-page document asking about his cryptocurrency usage and was required to fill out the paperwork before his account service was interrupted.
Ironically, the latest patent approval for a BOA controlled cryptocurrency exchange shows the bank favors digital assets, and the institution could very well build the platform in the near future with its awarded patent.
What do you think about BOA being granted a patent for a cryptocurrency trading platform? Let us know in the comments below.