In September, the Bank of America filed for another blockchain-related patent, as it was revealed by a document published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent, which is titled “Systems and devices for hardened remote storage of private cryptography keys used for authentication,” has been filed on the 16th of September, this year. The document goes on to describe a tamper-responsive storage mechanism of cryptographic keys.
BoA claims existing mechanisms are not enough
In the patent filing, the Bank of America also noted that existing mechanisms for private key storage were not sufficient and not secure as they are stored locally.
Also, the bank noted that since most of the computers are always connected to the internet, their internally stored private cryptography keys are always susceptible to being misappropriated by an entity which desired to usurp the identity of the user.
As the author stated, the proposed storage device is going to be entirely isolated from the system which performs the authentication. Furthermore, if some form of intrusion is detected, it is automatically going to wipe its memory, and by extension, all of the stored private keys. The processor could also be paired with a few sensors to identify physical tampering, like changes in acceleration, temperature, as well as shock. Bruteforce attacks are in fact also covered, with the device theoretically having the ability to detect forced entry into the hardware.
The Bank of America is the leader of the blockchain race
Interestingly, the Bank of America holds the most significant number of blockchain-related patents in the U.S. In June this year, one report has found that the American company is the leader of the blockchain race with almost 50 live patents. Even some tech giants, like IBM, MasterCard, as well as Intel, have failed to beat the Bank of America in this aspect.
The Bank of America also filed for several patents in 2018 only. But, Michael Wuehler, who is a former Senior Vice President, has claimed that most of the patents serve no practical purpose and are nothing more than a marketing ploy. Notably, he is also listed as the inventor of 8 blockchain patents which are filed by the American bank.
During his tweet, and even these days, he had direct responsibility for more than 10% of the patents of the company. After he worked with BoA for 11 years period, he became the co-founder of the blockchain company ConsenSys.
Continuous war among partners
Although most of the patents awarded to Bank of America have not yielded a commercial product yet, the company really wants to stay ahead of the curve.
The chief technology officer of the BoA, speaking at the CB Insights Future of Fintech even in June this year, said that they have got over 50 patents in the blockchain or distributed ledger space. Yet though they have not found any large-scale chances, they want to be ahead of it, and they want to be prepared.
But, on a global scale, Alibaba, which is a Chinese e-commerce behemoth, filed the most blockchain patents to date. The company also registered about 100 patents to date, with its founder Jack Ma betting dig on the technology.
Earlier in this year, he also criticized the speculating nature of Bitcoin, as well as some other cryptocurrencies and he said that blockchain has to be used to solve data privacy, security, as well as sustainability problems.