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Bank Of America Wins Patent For Private Key Storage

October 31, 2018 10:05 PM

Bank of America adds another patent to its already extensive portfolio.

Bank of America (BoA) has won yet another patent with potential applications for blockchain technology. This one is intended to increase the level of security surrounding personal keys linked to storage devices, such as wallets, as well as provide for real-time responses to hack attacks

Anyone who owns cryptocurrency knows how important it is to keep their private key secure lest it fall into the hands of those with malicious intent. The famous cartoon illustrator, Scott Adams even poked fun at those who do not keep a close eye on their private keys in his long-running comic strip Dilbert.

All joking aside, the security of one’s personal key is paramount to the security of one’s cryptoassets. There is little recourse a person can take if their personal key is stolen and used to drain their wallet.

Even hardware wallets, though considered the safest method of key storage because they store personal keys in an offline device, are susceptible to hacks.

Through this patent, BofA hopes to strengthen the protection of personal keys by outlining “a system for hardened remote storage of private cryptography keys and authentication.”

According to the patent, many of the systems used for the storage of personal keys can communicate when a security breach occurs but do not offer any real-time responses to hacks. To address this, BoA intends to design a system that “responds, in real-time, to tamper signals by deleting the private cryptography keys stored in the memory.”

While the deletion of private keys sounds scary, the patent claims that “the external/remote nature of the storage device provides for the private cryptography keys to only be accessible to, but not communicated to, remote computing devices when an authentication routine is executing, thereby limiting the exposure of the private authentication keys to misappropriation or the like.”

This patent is not even close to being a first for BoA. The banking giant holds patents for everything from a system for cryptographically generating “security tokens” to an exchange platform for businesses.

In fact, in June of this year, BoA’s chief operations and technology officer told Fortune magazine, “We’ve got under 50 patents in the blockchain/distributed ledger space…While we’ve not found large-scale opportunities, we want to be ahead of it, we want to be prepared.”

Nathan Graham is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews. He lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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