Mastercard filed the application for blockchain patents in December 2016 saying that under current systems, buyers who wish to send a gift without revealing their intention need to go through a third party, who they are forced to trust. The transparent characteristic of routine blockchain transactions is an impediment to the implementation of this technology in daily payments, which is true to some extent, both for businesses and consumers, it argued.
Mastercard has been awarded several other blockchain patents this year, including tapping the technology to manage coupon authentication and reduce coupon fraud, and to reduce prices and increase the efficiency of travel itinerary bidding.
It also received permission to patent a “method and system for blockchain variant using digital signatures” and also for a “method and system for integration of market exchange and issuer processing for blockchain-based transactions.”
In August 2017, the company published a patent application for a method of processing cryptocurrency refunds, titled “Information Transaction Infrastructure.” Mastercard Labs Senior Vice President Justin Pinkham said: “We are not using a cryptocurrency, and we are not introducing a new cryptocurrency, because that introduces other challenges – regulatory, legal challenges.”
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