Bank of America Files Patent for Storing Cryptographic Keys

Bank of America patent cryptocurrency cryptographic keys

Bank of America has been awarded its latest cryptocurrency patent this week, following plans for a hardware device capable of storing cryptographic keys.

The device, described as a “hardened storage device,” would provide a secure medium for storing cryptographic keys, often currently stored locally and secured by simple password protection.

These keys are essential for use in blockchain platforms, including the specific cryptocurrency use case, where the keys are required to verify and send transactions.

According to the patent, which was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this Tuesday, “specific embodiments” of the technology would cover cryptocurrency transactions.

“In specific embodiments of the system, the authentication routine is conducted as part of a cryptocurrency transaction, a blockchain transaction or the like.”

The patent continues to draw reference to cryptocurrency throughout the documentation, although the scope of the use cases mentioned is broader, encompassing other types of cryptographic keys and applications.

In the patent, Bank of America says the system would help tackle the threat to cryptocurrencies with keys stored on Internet-connected devices, funds it says “are continuously susceptible to being misappropriated ... Therefore, a need exists for a secure means for storing private cryptography keys.”

Security is becoming an increasingly important issue, particularly as institutional investors continue to weigh investing in cryptocurrencies.

However, with high-profile hacks and thefts still undermining confidence in some regulated institutions, solutions like these are essential for courting broader investor interest.

As imagined, the device would appeal to cryptocurrency investors and consumers, as well as to those with more significant holdings that are keen to increase security around their private keys.

It comes as the latest patent filing from Bank of America, one of the most prolific in securing IP around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Back in June, it was reported that Bank of America is pursuing “dozens” of patents, in a bid to prepare its business for future use cases – a vote of confidence in the direction and significance of blockchain and its applications.

At the time, the firm’s chief technology officer, Catherine Bessant, said the strategy was about remaining ahead of the curve.

“While we’ve not found large-scale opportunities, we want to be ahead of it, we want to be prepared.”