Will Bank of America Defend their Bitcoin-related Patents?

10 Bitcoin-related patents filed by American multinational banking and financial services corporation Bank of America in 2014 have recently been published by the US Patents Office.

The patents include rights to a broad range of blockchain-based systems including cryptocurrency transaction payment system and alternative decentralized settlement systems which allow clients and other financial institutions to make cryptocurrency transactions and settlement of assets with risk detection, offline support and fraud detection.

“A system comprises a memory operable to store a customer account associated with a customer and a processor communicatively coupled to the memory. The processor is able encode cryptocurrency information associated with the customer account onto a payment instrument. The processor is also able to receive a request for a cryptocurrency transaction from the customer using the payment instrument.” read the patent on Cryptocurrency Transaction Payment System, Patent #20150363770.

However, most of the patents published by the US Patents Office which include offline and offline cryptocurrency vault storage, risk detection and transaction validation systems and cryptocurrency suspicious user alert system have already been implemented by many bitcoin and blockchain startups in the industry.

Over the past few weeks, bitcoin and security experts have criticized the efforts of America’s second largest bank, stating that Bank of America is attempting to take credit for reinventing and altering systems being developed by others.

With an increasing number of bitcoin and tech enthusiasts in the community and bitcoin industry claiming that the patents are just an outright theft of ideas and concepts which have already been worked on for a long time, Bank of America will have difficulty in defending the patents that have been “published.”

For example, there are at least 5 prominent bitcoin startups offering real-time conversion system, cryptocurrency suspicious user alert system and offline storage, all three of which are claimed by Bank of America as “unique inventions” and discoveries.