JP Morgan’s failed attempts to patent the “useful aspects” of bitcoin suggests that the financial giant sees considerable utility in the core concepts of cryptocurrency. According to IBT, the patent is largely focused on “a way to process payments without the need for account details to be handed over.” The system’s core elements certainly sound like they could be bitcoin-derived, including digital wallets, direct payments and a “Virtual Private Lockbox” system. The IBT report notes that a non-public blockchain-like ledger is also a component of the patent.
Such real-time, low-friction payments are the goal of many increasingly emerging-market and mobile-focused financial institutions, and it’s worth noting that the failure of the JP Morgan patent application might not be solely the result of bitcoin. Similar systems, including those created by Amazon and PayPal, may also be to blame. The IBT report suggests that JP Morgan’s application has thus far avoided suggestions of a peer-to-peer payment system specifically to prevent speculation that the company is reacting to the bitcoin phenomenon.