A recent report by Coin Telegraph suggests that mainstream financial institutions may be moving even closer toward the cryptocurrency space. The second largest bank in the U.S., Bank of America (BofA), has reportedly applied for a blockchain-related patent associated with the development of a secure cryptocurrency storage system. The patent is entitled "Block Chain Encryption Tags," according to the report, and is the latest in a string of almost 50 blockchain-related patents that the bank has filed as of June of 2018.

Secure Crypto Storage System

The latest BofA patent describes a system used to record and store digital currency transactions for enterprises. The invention aims to create a system of data security utilizing encryption and the linking of data units to specific blocks within a given blockchain. The patent document was filed on April 18, 2018, although the document wasn't published by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) until late August

BofA's new system combines an encryption key with an encrypted element map which then generates and encrypts a so-called "creator tag." This tag is embedded and published within the first block of a blockchain. The patent application suggests that the new invention is a reproduced version of a U.S. non-provisional application from 2014 which was titled "Cryptocurrency Online Vault Storage System."

Latest Efforts from BofA

BofA has already shown great interest in the blockchain space. With several dozen patents filed through June of this year, BofA is likely the largest holder of blockchain-related patents in the country. It even beats out tech giants like IBM (IBM). Still, while BofA is taking the lead on innovation in the blockchain space, the bank remains skeptical towards cryptocurrencies more broadly. BofA acquired a patent related to the development of a cryptocurrency exchange system in December of last year, but it has since clarified its opposition toward digital tokens, calling cryptocurrencies "troubling." BofA also moved to ban clients from buying digital currencies with the bank's credit cards. All of that opposition may be moot, though; BofA has also admitted that it may be "unable" to compete with cryptocurrency, particularly if digital tokens go mainstream.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.