Bitcoin’s volatility may have dampened the payments industry’s enthusiasm for the cryptocurrency, but payments players are now reaping patent awards for Bitcoin-related inventions they filed years ago. The latest example is Intuit Inc., the Mountain View, Calif.-based company behind the popular Quicken and QuickBooks accounting programs for consumers and small businesses.
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office this week awarded patent 10,043,174 to Intuit for a system that would allow a smart-phone user to transfer Bitcoin to another user by means of a text message. Intuit’s application, filed in June 2014, envisions a scenario in which the sender, who holds a “virtual” account with a payment service, could text a message to the service that would include a payment amount and an identifier for the recipient’s mobile device.
The service would then confirm the sender’s account holds sufficient funds, create an account for the recipient, and move the sender’s Bitcoin into the new account. The service then sends a message to the payee about the transfer.
This latest crypto patent follows one the USPTO granted last month to Mastercard Inc. for a system that aims at speeding up transaction time for blockchain-based currencies while beefing up their security. That patent application was filed more than three years ago.