Method for Anonymization of Transactions

A patent filed by credit card company, Mastercard, is aimed at protecting a method for anonymization of electronic transactions via blockchain.  This type of patent basically is filed to protect a newer type of cryptocurrency known as a “privacy coin.”  Privacy coins are basically another form of cryptocurrency that are designed and intended to make the operation and transaction between and within the blockchains as private as possible.

The basic premise behind the Mastercard patent is that it relies on a new type of request known as an “anonymization request.”  Such a request requires the production of a signature to prove that the transaction is legitimate and should be delivered to the destination account. It also ensures privacy and obfuscation of any data, public or private, related to the transaction.

Privacy Coins Intended to Protect Sensitive Data

While other privacy coins already exist, this would be the first one patented by a major credit card giant.  Previous coins such as Monero, Zcash, and Zcoin, have all preceded Mastercard’s filing, but have had less media focus.  And because many users may be uncomfortable with the idea of having so much private data available in electronic form, whether it’s on credit cards, RFID chips, or any newer technology; the aim of privacy coins is to make sure that such sensitive information is protected.  It basically promises an anonymization of the wallet and the user’s information as it is related to the blockchain.

The patent itself refers back to a Mastercard “processing server” that it relies on to make sure that the transfers are anonymous and private.  The patent itself does not go into much detail on whether the server is a single, master server, or multiple servers that handle the requests.  While many users may be excited about the idea of having new cryptocurrency backed by a major company, the timing of the patent is a bit confusing as the U.S. government has already taken strides to derail the registration of such patents and technology.

Data Protection and Backdoor Access

As with many encryption technologies, technology companies and the federal government are often at odds over the strength of encryption allowed and still continue to argue whether backdoors should be required to be built into such technology or devices in order to allow law enforcement to bypass such protection and access the data at hand.

At any rate, experts in the field should follow the path of the patent and see whether or not the U.S. Patent Office awards the patent because it could signal federal support for cryptocurrency from one side of the government at the same time another fights against it.

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