Mastercard has been granted a patent that grants it rights for a method for "managing fractional reserves of blockchain currency".
Mastercard also adds that by processing transactions made with cryptocurrencies in this way, "payment networks may be able to evaluate the likelihood of fraud and assess risk for blockchain transactions using existing fraud and risk algorithms and information that is available to payment networks, such as historical fiat and blockchain transaction data, credit bureau data, demographic information, etc., that is unavailable for use in blockchain networks".
Then, the storing, in an account database, a "plurality of account profiles, wherein each account profile includes data associated with a consumer including at least a fiat currency amount, a blockchain currency amount, an account identifier, and an address". This means, as a user, you'd have two linked accounts with your bank - one for your fiat wealth, and one for crypto.
In a report released within the US Patent and Trademark Office, Mastercard explains that there is more interest in using cryptocurrency for anonymity and security. The company believes some consumers have chosen digital currencies in an effort to prevent fraud. This is an important problem that needs to be solved, because consumers and merchants need to wait an important amount of time for the transaction to be processed.
However, Mastercard argues cryptocurrencies ensure very little protection to the receivers of funds.
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Additionally, the patent called out the inefficiency of the Bitcoin blockchain, pointing out that Bitcoin transactions take ten plus minutes for a block confirmation, while centralized digital payments are almost instantaneous. For that reason, combining systems already in place for fiat currencies with the digital assets could potentially promote adoption while retaining the benefits of decentralization. This could lead to the formulation of faster transaction process for payments through digital currencies possibly through a credit card.
The transactions themselves would use the fiat currency's payment rails and security features, but each transaction would represent a cryptocurrency.
Nevertheless, the business is doing it's best to improve the transaction service to bring new solutions to the market, thus making a better experience for the users.
Eisen explains that patent application are just part of this process of improving the reputation of the company, even when this idea does not even reach the market.
It's worth noting that this isn't MasterCard's first foray into blockchain-based technology.
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