Barclays Bank may be looking to blockchain to streamline fund transfers and know-your-customer processes, according to newly-released patent applications.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published two applications by the U.K.’s second-largest bank Thursday, both of which revolve around account security. Perhaps most notably, however, was an application for a patent which outlined a blockchain-platform which could facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The bank also proposed streamlining know-your-customer processes by storing identifying information on a private blockchain.
Though the existence of a patent application does not necessarily mean the bank is planning to develop any products with the technology, the releases indicate members of the bank are examining the nascent technology.
As one document explains:
“The use of a block chain provides at least several benefits. These include its public nature, allowing any other party or entity from viewing the data and cryptographic verification of the data enabled by the digital signatures, hashing and layered nature of the block chain. The transaction is a complete and verified unit of data in a form that may be added to the block chain … Further or duplicate checks and work may be avoided, which can improve the efficiency of computer networks.”
As such, Barclays’ proposal would provide “a more reliable form of verification without substantially increasing technical overheads and improves the operation of computing environments and telecommunications networks.”
And that’s not all. The application details a “super” user authority, which would have the right to migrate old information to present blocks, and perhaps even delete old ones with sufficient support from other user authorities in the system. This use could theoretically mitigate blockchain size and storage issues.
The other patent is even more direct – it suggests generating a blockchain to transfer “digital currency from a payer to a recipient.”