Many banks have been betting on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as an important part of the future of banking. Among them is Bank of America which has secured a number of blockchain related patents.
The bank has continued to express interest in the technology by securing more patents. The latest it has acquired is “tamper responsive” remote storage of private keys.
The patent which was granted the bank was applied for 2 years ago. According to filed documents for the patency, there exists the problem of the ability to know in real time when the devices used for storing private keys are being tampered with.
“Such devices do not provide for real-time response to such breaches, such that misappropriation of private cryptography keys is prevented.”
The patent stated that most private keys storages presently use consumer-grade devices that are “susceptible to being misappropriated by an entity that desires to usurp a user’s identity.”
The bank obviously obtained patency for the concept being aware that the market for it will be substantial. It has been the position of many in the crypto industry that reliable custodial services backed by a multi-billion dollar entity is what institutional investors need to be confident enough to enter the digital currency space.
The patent description stated that the responsiveness of the system is in the ability of the key-storing device to delete the private keys if there is unauthorized attempt to access it.
“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.”
This is a system that is secured from remote access by hackers and physical tampering by intruding burglars.
The bank wants to provide a system that alerts clients when there is an attempt to access their private keys. There are indications that the innovation will serve a wide range of customers including exchanges which have largely been the target of hacks.
Backed with insurance, the bank believes that it has obtained a foolproof method of securing digital assets for customers.
In effect, the Bank of America wants to become the bank that secures private keys or a digital safe box backed by insurance. The patency obtained will ensure that it will be the only operator of the system at least for some time.
Another appealing feature of the patented system is the ability to delete the private key if the device hosting it is infected by malware or whenever any malicious or 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.”
Users of the service will have the option of configuring what signals they consider a threat. This configuration is the trigger for the intervention that deletes the private keys.