It seems like 2018 is the year when banks are making a leap forward towards adoption of cryptocurrencies and their full integration. A proof for that is the recent cryptocurrency news which shows that Bank Of America, the second largest bank in the US, has recently won a patent that paves the way towards adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
As the original patent filing reads, the problem with existing storage methods for private crypto keys is the fact that “such devices do not provide for real-time response to such breaches, such that misappropriation of private cryptography keys is prevented.”
Therefore, the main aim of this patent is to improve the way these keys are stored, mostly because they are currently stored in regular consumer-grade devices and are as such “susceptible to being misappropriated by an entity that desires to usurp a user’s identity.”
On top of this, Bank of America wants to serve as a bank for private keys – with features such as digital safe deposit boxes, insurance etc. According to analysts, the market for these services is huge, and having the patent on the bare idea means that Bank of America is definitely interested to commercialize crypto.
In detail, the patent describes a system that will automatically respond to tamper attempts by deleting the key from the potentiall compromised device:
“In specific embodiments of the system, the storage device further includes one or more sensors in communication with the first processor. In such embodiments of the system, the first processor is further configured to, in response to receiving the tamper-related signals from the one or more sensors, delete the one or more private cryptography keys from the first memory.”
Aside from this, the patent can also perform this functions if physical tampering is detected (for example if a device is stolen):
“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 third scenario where it might ghost a protected key is the case of a virus or a malevolent code is detected:
“In other specific embodiments of the system, the first processor is further configured to receive the tamper-related signal, from the computing node. In such embodiments of the system, the tamper-related signal indicates that a user has exceeded a predetermined number of attempts of inputting user authentication credentials to the authentication routine.”
At this point, only time can tell whether this patent could succeed as a product. What’s safe to say, however, is the fact that private keys are a delicate subject and as such must be treated with maximum attention in the future.
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“By using Coinify, we are not running into the knife. It is still not clear to me how blockchain is any better than other database technologies. The transactions are so far more expensive and slower than a normal payment method. Decentralization brings only cumbersome improvements. None of the blockchains scale enough. But maybe I have not invested enough time and therefore understand too little how the blockchain ecosystem works.”Herren said that the decision comes after the prolonged bearish correction on the market where most of the crypto assets lost nearly a third of their value. Despite the fact that investors didn’t really get scared of the decline in prices, institutional adoption is still uncertain regarding making more profits. For example, back in 2018 in June, the Expedia hotel booking platform deleted Bitcoin out of their options and in the same year couple of months back, Reddit also stopped accepting cryptocurrency for its gold membership plans. Years back, Bitcoin became popular because of its attractiveness as a cheaper alternative for expensive payment processors. But as the technology got more popular, the network was unable to handle a higher number of transactions such as Visa or MasterCard and that’s why retailers didn’t choose crypto for making transactions. The Swiss retail giant brings bitcoin back into the retail game. However, traders who are into crypto or those who just hold on to it for better days can now use their coins to purchase something from the retail platform.
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“Voluntary retirement is part of our support program for former employees and is intended to provide assistance and training for job placement. Apart from that, [Bithumb’s] trading volume has decreased compared to the previous year, [so] we are trying to provide internal measures. We will continue to add necessary personnel for various new businesses.”Bithumb still hasn't responded to the requests for comment. However, many speculate that this move is right because of the crypto winter which led to a lot of minuses all over the market. Still, what's interesting is that Bithumb has been preceded by many other firms in the sector - such as the mining giant Bitmain, the blockchain software company ConsenSys, the decentralized social network named Steemit as well as the similar crypto exchanges Coinsquare and Huobi - all of the companies which have decided to make significant cuts in the recent months. According to data from CoinMarketCap (CMC), Bithumb has seen more than $1.3 billion in trades over the past 24 hours. The exchange, however, was removed from the CMC global exchange rankings in January 2018 mostly because of the concerns that the site had over the reportedly "extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world" and its fellow exchanges in South Korea. Currently, everyone is waiting for an official confirmation about the layoff from Bithumb. The respected exchange hasn't confirmed anything yet but will probably do that over the next couple of days.
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