If you’re not entirely familiar with the world of cryptocurrencies, it may be tempting to view it as a fringe industry, or dismiss it as nothing more than a passing fad.
Surely, no legitimate financial institution operating within standard conventions would get involved in such a fringe space, right? And by no means would a legitimate institution view cryptos as “the future”?
Or would they? If you’re not paying close attention to what’s happening in the crypto sphere, then it’s likely that you don’t know what’s going on beneath the surface.
Did you know that over the last few years, Bank of America has filed over 50 patents for blockchain and cryptocurrency tech? In fact, according to a document published by the US patent office (USPTO), they just filed one for a secure crypto storage system.
Bank of America has the largest number of cryptocurrency and blockchain patents. And why? To ensure that BofA doesn’t become obsolete.
This implies that Bank of America sees both blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a major disruptor in the financial landscape–one that will not only play a role in future finance, but one that might even define the future landscape of finance.
The patent is titled “Block Chain Encryption Tags,” and it details a system in which enterprise-level crypto transactions can be securely recorded and stored by implementing a proprietary form of encryption.
Cointelegraph’s Helen Partz describes it in greater detail:
“In the patent document filed on April 18, 2018, the North Carolina-based bank introduced a system that includes a device with a processor that first receives a set of data elements, and then acquires an encryption key prior to encrypting the elements within the first block on a blockchain.
The device further combines the encryption key with the generated encrypted element map in order to create and then encrypt the “creator tag,” which is then further embedded and published within the first block of the blockchain.”
Not surprisingly, considering how the emerging and untested nature of cryptocurrencies can create “reputational risk” for such a conventional institution, Bank of America’s public stance on cryptos has been skeptical if not entirely negative.
Just last May, BofA reiterated their views on cryptos as “troubling,” while banning their own clients from buying using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies.
Privately, however, BofA had been acquiring patents for the development of a crypto exchange system, as it feared a potential future scenario in which it would be unable to compete with crypto’s growing adoption; that “services and products evolving industry standards and consumer preferences” may render Bof A obsolete.
Perhaps their patents serve as a hedge for a future that may never pass. But the fear of that future scenario is enough to get BofA to take quite labored action. Or perhaps they hold a clear vision that signals a legitimate opportunity to dominate a segment of the market.
Either way, the only people who seem not to believe that cryptocurrencies may someday define the future of business are the majority of investors.
Judging from the actions of many financial institutions–regardless of what they have been saying in a public forum–the world of finance sees things differently.
And as investors are exiting the crypto space, institutions are looking to dominate it.
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