Barclays has filed two U.S. patent applications relating to the transfer of digital currency and blockchain data storage.
The first patent describes a system for transferring digital currency from payer to recipient that would securely authenticate the identities of both, as well as validating and recording transactions using public-key cryptography and a digital currency ledger.
Beyond currency transfer, the patent goes on to describe a wide range of use cases for securely and privately processing data in a trustless manner using a blockchain system. One illustration outlines how claims and attestations could be verified on the blockchain, using the example of credit status and insurance claims.
Barclays envisions the potential beneficiaries of such a system to be individuals, authorities, enterprises, and banks, as well as objects to which a digital wallet could be assigned, such as an Internet of Things (IoT) item. The patent further outlines the advantageous step of using a Merkle Tree Structure to store blocks in order to maximize efficiency and ease data validation.
The second patent relates more narrowly to storing and endorsing data and claims relating to specific entities, using the validation of personal information for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks as a key example.
This spring, it was rumoured that Barclays was assessing whether client interest was sufficient to warrant setting up a dedicated cryptocurrency trading desk. The claims were soon refuted by Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley, although the bank notably continues to help its clients to settle Bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts that are offered on derivatives exchanges such as CME Group Inc. and CBOE Global Markets Inc.