The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a blockchain-related patent that was filed by Mastercard.
Called “Method and system for payment card verification via blockchain”, the patent was published on Thursday, June 7. It was filed in December 2016.
The patent describes a method for conveying a “first public key” and payment credentials through a third-party data source by completing a number of steps.
The first step involves storing payment credentials in a computer device’s memory, before a machine-readable code is generated and displayed on a device.
“A key pair comprised of at least a private key and a second public key” is then generated before the payment credentials are encrypted using the private key.
Finally, the encrypted payment credentials are transmitted by computer to a “publicly accessible data source”.
It comes after a report issued by Hogan Lovells in January predicted a rise in patents for blockchain in 2018.
But the race to patent blockchain technology has been running for several years, as noted by financial advisory services company AlixPartners in September 2016.
The report highlighted several applications by financial services companies, including a 2014 application by Goldman Sachs. The US patent, called “Cryptographic currency for securities settlement”, has since been granted.
According to the report, if the economic potential of blockchain technology is realised, it could result in “sharply lowered fund transfer times and costs while bolstering security”.