Category Archives: Bank of America

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Bank of America Secures Tamper-Proof Blockchain Patent

America’s second-largest bank after Morgan Chase may have taken a reluctant step closer to cryptocurrency storage with the securing of its “tamper responsive” blockchain patent.

The Bank of America filed for the patent in 2016 for a technology which acts as another barrier against hacking into clients’ private keys. The patent describes how, during attempts to hack remote storage of private cryptocurrency keys, “such devices do not provide for a real-time response to such breaches, such that misappropriation of private cryptography keys is prevented”.

To prevent these “misappropriations” the new tamper-proof invention “points out to a structure having redundant keys in which the system automatically reacts to tamper attempts by removing the key from the potentially compromised device”.

According to the patent:

“In other specific related embodiments of the system, the one or more sensors further comprise at least one of a shock sensor, an acceleration sensor and a temperature sensor, in such embodiments of the system, the first processor is further configured to, in response to receiving the tamper-related signals from at least one of the shock sensor, the acceleration sensor and the temperature sensor, delete the one or more private cryptography keys from the first memory.”

The patent offers the holders a highly marketable product. It seems likely that larger companies more at risk to large-scale hackings may find the Bank of America tamperproof system highly applicable to be used alongside their current cybersecurity measures. However, in terms of the bank’s own stance on cryptocurrency, it seems unlikely that it will be offering its own cryptocurrency storage anytime soon. It cannot, under any circumstance, be cited as one of the more crypto-friendly financial institutions in the US.

Clients of the bank have been barred from using its credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. Bank of America’s latest annual report references cryptocurrencies as a threat to its business model; apparently, it sees the way to combat this is as to get ahead of the game and monetize cryptocurrency use cases via patenting innovations such as the “tamper responsive” patent.

 

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Bank of America Has Patent Pending for Crypto Storage Technology

Multinational investment and financial services bank, Bank of America has applied for a patent that covers a cryptocurrency storage system for use by custodians.

Specifically, the application describes a computing device that can manage blockchain encryption tags and handle a substantial number of daily transactions.

The US Patent & Trademark Office published details of the application on Thursday following its initial filing in April. It outlines a system of entrusting cryptocurrency accounts’ secured private keys to a custodian third party such as a bank. It appears to anticipate a future where the general public has mass adopted cryptocurrencies and require traditional banking services for their assets.

Describing its place and necessity in the future of financial services, the application reads: ”As technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common. For some enterprises, it may be desirable to securely store cryptocurrency.” The Bank of America began its development of this online cryptocurrency vault system in 2014.

Don’t Take This as a Pro-Crypto Stance

While Bank of America may have applied for dozens of blockchain patents (several including cryptocurrency solutions) and invested substantially in blockchain research, top executives at the firm have open criticized Bitcoin on multiple occasions. The chief technology officer called it a ”troubling” payment system due to what she referred to as the lack of ”transparency” that makes it more challenging to catch wrongdoers in the system.

Clients of the bank have been barred from using its credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. Bank of America’s latest annual report references cryptocurrencies as a threat to its business model; apparently, it sees the way to combat this is as to get ahead of the game and monetize cryptocurrency use cases via patenting innovations.

The report warns of concerns that people will turn to alternative investment methods outside of its jurisdiction, reading: ”clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies.”

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Bank of Queensland Rules out Crypto Purchases Using Mortgage Equity

The Australian Financial Review has reported that the Bank of Queensland will prohibit its customers to use loan equity to purchase cryptocurrency.

The Bank of Queensland, one of Australia’s largest banks, which is publicly traded on the country’s stock exchange, has made the move as it believes recent crypto price instability has made amendments to its rules necessary. Other banks have discouraged its borrowers using real-estate mortgages for crypto purchases, but as yet haven’t officially prohibited the activity.

The bank has stated in its new rules “any loan purpose that involves the acquisition of or usage of cryptocurrency is unacceptable”.

Australian regulators are increasing scrutiny over crypto space. Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence agency, has announced new rulings which have mandated further customer scrutiny across cryptocurrency exchanges. Added to this, the Australian tax office has sought public feedback regarding crypto earnings.

Also, the ATO reported that it would be enforcing its tax requirements this year by using 100-point checks, a security checking system long favored by the Australian government and other sectors, and also call on bilateral agreements with other countries to identify users for tax payment purposes. There are currently over 40 countries who have such agreements with Australia including the US and the UK.

It’s been reported that some lenders are now monitoring borrowers accounts in order to check if such accounts are being used for cryptocurrency trading. An anonymous broker reportedly claimed, “They (banks) are concerned because the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Austrac are crawling all over it.”

In a similar move, but in this case focusing on customer credit, banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have suggested bans on credit being used to purchase cryptocurrency due to the volatility of the market.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) official Tony Richards in a speech to the Australian Business Economists recently expressed his admiration of Bitcoin but thought it would not be adopted into the country’s mainstream financial system.

 

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