Report: eBay filed patent for Bitcoin currency exchanger in 2011

Home » Report: eBay filed patent for Bitcoin currency exchanger in 2011


Last month, eBay CEO John Donahoe set the virtual currency world abuzz when he mentioned in a discussion about Bitcoin on Bloomberg TV that the company’s PayPal branch was “building a digital wallet that can take multiple types of currency.”

Today, finance writer Brian Cohen uncovered details about eBay’s wallet, outlining the details of a 2011 patent application for a “System And Method For Managing Transactions In A Digital Marketplace.”

The patent application specifically mentions Bitcoin, as well as other possibilities such as credit card reward points and travelers checks, as currencies the wallet would be able to exchange. As explained in the patent application:

The currency module is configured to manage exchange of digital currency. Accordingly, the currency module allows a user to trade one form of currency for another form of currency. In one embodiment, one of the forms of currency being traded is cash. The digital currency may be used to pay for real-world financial obligations (e.g., bills) as well as for virtual-world obligations…”

Cohen notes that the eBay wallet, which has yet to be granted a patent, would solve significant issues in the current virtual currency ecosystem on the mainstream consumer level.

PayPal has the ability to become a trusted Bitcoin wallet and people would be willing to pay good Bitcoin (err, money) for such a service. Basically just like you wouldn’t keep your entire life savings in your everyday wallet, users of Bitcoin shouldn’t keep their entire bitcoin savings online. An elegant trusted cold storage (i.e. offline) solution is needed and I hope that PayPal is chiseling away at this problem.

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