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Bank of America Files Patent for Settlement System Citing Ripple

Bank of America has filed a patent application for a settlement system citing the Ripple ledger.

Bank of America has filed for a patent for a settlement system citing the Ripple ledger, according to a filing on Google Patents.

The patent in question — the application of which was published on June 6 — describes a system using distributed ledger technology (DLT) as an interbank communication tool. The proposed system would enable real-time settlement with transactions being communicated through a shared, decentralized ledger to which both the banks would have access.

The decentralized network would both verify the identity of the payer and the payee and enable communication between the institutions. Notably, multiple illustrations included in the patent explicitly cite Ripple DLT. Ripple’s base asset and proposed settlement gateway asset XRP is not mentioned in the patent.

In June, news broke that Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand’s largest commercial bank, denied any plans to start using Ripple’s XRP token, contrary to earlier indications. The denial came after the bank tweeted that an “XRP system will be announced soon” on June 5.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Ripple incubator and investment arm Xpring has distributed $500 million to over 20 XRP projects — including the blockchain-based gaming platform Forte — since its launch in May 2018. The aim of the incubator is to fund the development of use cases for Ripple’s XRP token.

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Bank of America CTO Catherine Bessant: We Haven’t Found a Blockchain Use Case in Finance

Catherine Bessant admitted that the institution has yet to find blockchain use cases for the financial services sector.

Catherine Bessant, chief technology officer at Bank of America, admitted that the institution has yet to find blockchain use cases for the financial services sector. Bessant made her comments during an interview with Bloomberg published on May 14.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Bessant said that — while she believes this technology to hold a lot of potential — blockchain is “full of sound and fury, yet to signify something.” Still, she noted that she believes blockchain has practical applications:

“I believe that there are use cases that makes sense today, we have yet to find them at scale in financial services. We’re experimenting heavily, we have more patents than any other financial institution in the blockchain space, but have yet to find something that makes a difference for our clients or our customer.”

The views expressed by Bessant are seemingly in contrast with what she said in March, when she told CNBC that she is privately bearish on blockchain despite the bank holding more patents than any other financial institution.

According to Crunchbase, Bank of America has an estimated revenue of $91.1 billion and is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving approximately 51 million consumers and small business relationships.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, British financial software firm Finastra has signed three global banks on its R3 Corda blockchain-based syndicated loans platform.

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Android Malware Targets Users of 32 Crypto Apps, Including Coinbase, BitPay

A new strain of Trojan malware for Android phones is targeting global users of top crypto apps such as Coinbase, BitPay and Bitcoin Wallet.

A new strain of Trojan malware for Android phones is targeting global users of top crypto apps such as Coinbase, BitPay and Bitcoin Wallet, as well as banks including JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. The news was reported by technology news outlet The Next Web on March 28.

Based on research from prominent cybercrime analytics firm Group-IB, this is reportedly the first time the Trojan — now named “Gustuff” — has been reported or analyzed. The malware is described as being designed for mass infection and is spread by SMS messages with links to load malicious Android package kit files.

The malware’s creators have reportedly created “Automatic Transfer Systems” that aim to expedite and scale the thefts by triggering autofills of payment fields for legitimate Android apps to maliciously reroute transfers to the hackers.

The app is purported to issue a host of “web fakes” that mimic legitimate apps to phish for sensitive data from users — specifically targeting customers of as many as 32 different crypto apps. Push notifications using legitimate icons are a further device the malware uses to automate downloads of fake apps and trigger transaction autofills.

Group IB reportedly identified 27 fake crypto and banking apps specific to the United States, 16 for Poland, 10 for Australia, nine for Germany and nine for India. The malware also targets payment systems and messenger services such as PayPal, Revolut, Western Union, eBay, Walmart, Skype and WhatsApp.

In order to function, Gustaff reportedly exploits Android’s accessibility features designed for disabled users, with Group IB characterizing this as a relatively rare and effective trick:

“Using the Accessibility Service mechanism means that the Trojan is able to bypass […] changes to Google’s security policy introduced in new versions of the Android OS. Moreover, Gustuff knows how to turn off Google Protect; according to the Trojan’s developer, this feature works in 70 percent of cases.”

Reportedly first traced to hacker forums from April 2018, Group IB notes that Gustuff has been designed by a Russian-speaking cybercriminal nicknamed “Bestoffer,” yet targets customers of international firms primarily outside of Russia.

Android users are advised by Group IB to download apps strictly from the Google Play store and pay attention to the extensions of downloaded files.

As reported in February, decentralized app MetaMask was recently pulled from Google Play after researchers detected malware impersonating the tool to steal crypto from users.

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Bank of America CTO “Privately Bearish” on Blockchain

Bank of America Blockchain

An executive at Bank of America has recently put forth comments which go against the growing adoption for cryptocurrency and blockchain in 2019.

According to a report published by CNBC on Mar. 26, Bank of America’s tech and operations chief Cathy Bessant says that she is “privately bearish” on the outlook for blockchain and its potential impact for financial technology. Despite her comments, the CNBC also points out that the bank has 82 blockchain-related patents, which amounts to more than any other bank or financial firm including that of Mastercard and PayPal.

In an interview, Bessant cast doubt on the impact of blockchain in the near-term, and gave her personal opinion that the technology would fail to achieve the prominence some industry supporters believe will occur,

“What I am is open-minded. In my private scoreboard, in the closet, I am bearish.”

Nonetheless, Bessant’s private opinion on blockchain does little to diminish the dramatic steps Bank of America has taken over the last several years to prepare itself for a future of blockchain and digital assets.

As CNBC writes,

“For half a decade, Bank of America has quietly been preparing for a future in which the world of finance migrates to the blockchain.

Under tech and operations chief Cathy Bessant, the giant bank has accumulated the most patents for the technology of any financial services company, for inventions ranging from blockchain-powered ATMs to storage for cryptocurrency keys.”

While supporters of blockchain have argued that the technology is in need of more time to develop, with adoption being a slow process to start, Bessant claims that it’s more an issue of blockchain searching for a use case as opposed to being an obvious source of improvement. Bessant says she is focused on supporting technology that will help finance and significantly improve upon existing methods–two features that she finds lacking in the current state of blockchain,

“I haven’t seen one [use case] that even scales beyond an individual or a small set of transactions. All of the big tech companies will come and say ‘blockchain, blockchain, blockchain.’ I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it’.”

She added,

“I want it to work. Spiritually, I want it to make us better, faster, cheaper, more transparent, more, you know, all of those things.”

In regards to Bank of America’s stockpiling of blockchain-based patents, which Bessant has overseen since starting her position in 2010, the executive views it as a method of future proofing. Rather than allowing Bank of America to blindsided by a wave of blockchain adoption and innovation, Bessant–despite her personal doubts–is preparing the company in the event that the technology lives up to its potential.

Bessant also claimed to be most skeptical over public blockchains like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Instead, she finds greater use in private blockchains that provide intermediaries for use, similar to the stablecoin that is being developed by J.P. Morgan Chase.

The post Bank of America CTO “Privately Bearish” on Blockchain appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Bank of America CTO Catherine Bessant: I’m Privately Bearish on Blockchain

Catherine Bessant defended the bank’s record patent stockpile, arguing it was nevertheless necessary to be prepared for change.

A senior executive at Bank of America (BoA) is not bullish on blockchain despite the bank holding more patents than any other finance firm, CNBC reported on March 26.

Speaking to the publication in an interview, chief technology officer Catherine Bessant said that even though the bank’s official stance on the technology was palpably buoyant, her personal views were quite different.

“What I am is open-minded,” she said. “In my private scoreboard, in the closet, I am bearish.”

BoA currently holds more than 80 blockchain patents, beating out the likes of the Big Four accounting firms and other Wall Street entities.

Discussing the impetus behind the bank’s activity, Bessant repeated words from several years ago, arguing it was important to be prepared should blockchain break out into the mainstream.

In its current form, however, there is little cause for belief.

“I haven’t seen one [use case] that even scales beyond an individual or a small set of transactions,” Bessant continued. She added:

“All of the big tech companies will come and say blockchain, blockchain, blockchain. I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it.’”

That perspective would notionally put BoA at odds with the likes of JPMorgan, which notably revealed JPM Coin this month, a blockchain-based token it says will ultimately have a range of transaction-based deployments.

For Bessant, however, the project needs to stand the test of time to gain credibility.

“I will be curious to see what the actual volume of usage is on the JPM Coin in a year,” she noted.

As Cointelegraph reported, overall sentiment around blockchain has wavered over the past year, with sources querying whether its potential matches the considerable hype the technology has received previously.

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Bank of America Reveals New Blockchain Patent Targeting Cash Handling

The U.S.’ second largest bank already has over 50 blockchain-related patents — more than any other entity.

Bank of America (BoA) wants to patent a system using blockchain technology to improve cash handling, a new application published Dec. 25 confirms.

Originally submitted in June 2017, the patent references “banking systems controlled by data bearing records.”

“Aspects of the disclosure relate to deploying, configuring, and utilizing cash handling devices to provide dynamic and adaptable operating functions,” its abstract reads.

BoA explains there remain communication difficulties in aspects of cash handling duties across banks’ huge operations, and suggests blockchain could help ease these.

“Cash handling devices may be used in operating centers and other locations to provide various functions, such as facilitating cash withdrawals and deposits,” the patent document continues.

“In many instances, however, it may be difficult to integrate such cash handling devices with technical infrastructure that supports banking operations and other operations while also optimizing the efficient and effective technical operations of the cash handling devices and various related computer systems.”

BoA has sought to step up its efforts to snag intellectual property in the blockchain sphere over the past two years.

In November, the bank was revealed to have the most such blockchain patents at more than 50, amid curiosity as to whether it would put all to use in the near term.

While keen on blockchain, BoA has adopted a highly risk-averse stance on cryptocurrency, becoming one of the few institutions to enact bans on associated fiat purchases by clients earlier this year.

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Bank of America Interested in Cryptocurrency Storage Patent

Cryptocurrency–Despite the lack of positive price movement in the cryptomarkets over the preceding weeks, adoption and recognition for the industry continues to climb. While 2018 has the makings to be remembered as the worst bear cycle in the lifetime of crypto, many pundits within the industry have been keen to point out that adoption for cryptocurrency is at its highest point, with multiple fintech firms and banks looking to move into the space of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Bank of America, the second largest banking chain in the United States, has recently filed its second patent related to cryptocurrency custodian control, this time proposing a system that provides cryptocurrency storage for large-scale enterprise.  According to public documents filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and published on Thursday, Bank of America is primarily targeting institutional investors and other enterprise in forming a source for securing private keys. This comes in addition to a similar cryptocurrency patent application filed in 2014, giving some credence to the idea that the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank is looking to make a move into cryptocurrency, albeit in a limited capacity for now.

Details about the patent involve the use of a computing device to manage blockchain encryption tags, building upon the earlier patent by Bank of America to create a digital vault storage system for large-scale, institutional cryptocurrency usage. Predicated on the patent’s design is the idea that cryptocurrency could become a ubiquitous form of payment, reaching market saturation levels necessary for consumers to adopt en masse. Similar to the current model of storing fiat in banks, the BoA patent is building upon the idea that consumers will want a place to safeguard their crypto outside of the use of private keys–which have been pegged as a bit too complex for the average user in terms of growing mainstream adoption. BoA’s method involves the creation of digital vaults, similar to their physical counterparts, with the bank being entrusted custodian status over the funds–essentially forgoing the role of the individual in maintaining private key security and ownership. Specifically, the patent alludes to the need for improved technology if cryptocurrency continues to gain traction as a payment source,

“Enterprises may handle a large number of financial transactions on a daily basis. As technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common. For some enterprises, it may be desirable to securely store cryptocurrency.”

Relative to other firms, the second largest banking branch in the United States has had an active presence in cryptocurrency, having already applied for dozens of crypto-related patents over the years. While the most recent filing focuses on the creation of a digital vault and custodial ownership, BoA also has patents pertaining to cold-storage, and payment methods for crypto that exchange in real-time. The list of patents and their nature give the indication that the bank is looking to prepare itself in the event of Bitcoin going mainstream, despite several BoA executives having been critical over the use of cryptocurrency, unsurprising comments given the relationship between crypto and the traditional world of banking. 

In addition to the aforementioned negative comments related to cryptocurrency, Bank of America has denied certain customers access to the purchase of crypto through credit cards.

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World’s Number Four Telecoms Provider Files Blockchain Contract Storage Paten

The world’s fourth-largest telecoms provider, Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), has filed a patent for using blockchain tech for contract agreement, according to a U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) release on July 19.

NTT’s patent application writes that a problem with contracts on blockchain is that each transactions “contains only the electronic signature of the sender” as the “evidence of contract agreement by the receiver is not left in the transaction.”

The patent suggests a “simple, possible way to solve this problem is to, for example, include the electronic signatures of all the involved parties in one transaction.”

Details of the patent describe an invention with the objective of “leav[ing] the evidence of a contract on a blockchain” using one digital signature for each transaction among the involved parties. The patent document continues that the second objective is to “maintai[n] credibility” throughout this process.

NTT’s patent proposal is one of several to have already surfaced from major corporations this week. As Cointelegraph reported July 18, both Mastercard and Bank of America have also released documentation for blockchain-based inventions.

The global telecoms industry meanwhile looks set to benefit significantly from blockchain in the next five years. A report released earlier this month highlights how the technology could contribute almost $1 billion in value to the sector by 2023, from just $46 million today.

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Bank of America Reveals Blockchain Patent for External Data Validation, Cites Need for ‘Accurate Indication’ of Financial Standing

Bank of America (BoA) has filed a patent for a blockchain-based system allowing the external validation of data, according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent filing released July 17.

BoA’s patent filing proposes using blockchain for tracking resource information and confirming resource transfers, noting that

“A need currently exists for providing a more accurate indication of a user’s financial standing by allowing external validation of data in a process data network.”

The patent describes how the system would record information on the blockchain based on “aggregated information associated with past transfer of resources executed by an entity,” and would update the information on the blockchain with each new transaction activity.

In April, the USPTO had published another patent from BoA for a blockchain-based storage system. According to Fortune, BoA currently has 45 live patents related to blockchain pending, with the bank’s CTO noting that the amassing of patents allows the bank to be “prepared.”

At the same time, the BoA has become infamous for its distaste for cryptocurrency, in May calling Bitcoin (BTC) “troubling” while upholding a previous decision to ban its customers from purchasing crypto using credit cards.

Despite its apparent foresight in the blockchain sphere, BoA is not without its competitors, Mastercard this week unveiling a patent of its own allowing transactions of what it calls “blockchain currencies.”