Bank of America, the second-largest banking institution in the United States, has filed another patent application for a system that manages cryptocurrency storage in an enterprise environment.
Public documents published on Thursday by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) show that the Charlotte, NC-based firm has furthered its research into securing private keys in an institutional organization. The company first applied for this patent in April.
The patent, which specifically details how a computing device would manage blockchain encryption tags, is the continuation of a proposal for a cryptocurrency online vault storage system that Bank of America first began developing in 2014.
The patent envisions a future in which cryptocurrency is widely adopted by the general public but that consumers still entrust their funds to custodians such as banks rather than maintaining their own private keys.
The authors wrote: “Enterprises may handle a large number of financial transactions on a daily basis. As technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common. For some enterprises, it may be desirable to securely store cryptocurrency.”
Along with corporate giants such as Walmart and IBM, Bank of America has been among the United States’ most prolific investors in blockchain research. The firm has applied for dozens of blockchain patents over the years, including quite a few that involve cryptocurrency in some capacity.
In addition to its online vault storage system, the bank also applied for a patent for a cold storage system, as well as systems through which it could facilitate cryptocurrency payments and real-time conversion.
However, that’s not to say the bank is bullish on bitcoin and its peers, at least in their present, decentralized forms. Bank of America executives have criticized bitcoin on multiple occasions, saying at various times that it is a “troubling” payment system and that investors should not be optimistic about its potential as a speculative investment.
The firm has also barred customers from using Bank of America-issued credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies.
Nevertheless, the bank admitted in its latest annual report that cryptocurrency adoption is a threat to its business model.