The American multinational financial services corporation, Mastercard, has just won a new patent related to the Blockchain technology. This company has been truly interested in Blockchain and working with it, in order to make transactions safer and anonymous.
In December 2016, Mastercard applied to patent a system which supports anonymous transactions using a Blockchain network, which could be a great step for acceptance of anonymous payment methods.
Yesterday, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the patent application, submitted by Mastercard, to build an anonymous blockchain transactions system.
“Individuals, businesses, and other entities often conduct payment transactions on a daily basis, with some entities being involved in hundreds, thousands, or even millions of transactions each day. In some cases, an entity may have a desire to participate anonymously in one or more of their transactions, such as if they do not want a third party to be aware of their transaction. For example, an individual may want to purchase a surprise gift for their significant other without the merchant being revealed, or a business may want to conduct transactions anonymously such that competing entities may not be aware of the volume of their business or the other entities that they do business with.” – Mastercard Patent Description.
As we can see, this patent will allow to anonymize the transaction details of individuals who want to make an anonymous payment. It is possible involving a third party to make the transaction, so the merchant (who receives the payment) will not know the identity of the main buyer (who sends the payment).
Even though, this system is not perfect. According to the patent’s description, and as we all can see at this point, the method requires the third party to know the details of the payment:
“Unfortunately, such methods require the entity to not only make the third party aware of their identity, but also requires the entity to reveal the nature of their purchase to the third party, as well as requires a significant amount of trust in the third party to not reveal their identity and to make the purchase and forward the good or service successfully. Furthermore, the private nature of such an agreement may also reduce accountability of the third party and expose information if recourse is sought.” – Mastercard Patent Description.
We must remember that US government consider anonymous payments, and specially, cryptocurrencies like Monero and Zcash as a relevant threat because they could not track people who take advantage of this methods to make illicit transactions. The past week the Congressman Pittenger during House subcommittee hearing said:
“One of the greatest emerging threats to US national security is illicit use of virtual or cryptocurrencies.“
Patent source: Link.