Is This Bank’s Blockchain-Powered Crypto Wallet a Game Changer?
CCN Markets: Bank of America (BofA) continues its steady creep into the crypto world, filing another blockchain-related patent application. This new one is particularly interesting because it’s for a crypto wallet.
CCN discussed the move with several crypto players. Here’s what they had to say.
Is BofA’s move game-changing?
BofA’s latest crypto-related patent application was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Aug. 15. The second-largest U.S. bank wants to create a multi-tiered digital wallet using blockchain.
Tim Weiss, CEO of digital wallet provider DigitalBank Vault LTD, said:
“It is a game-changer, indeed. It is a needed move for the entire crypto industry, a move that signals to the public that a new era is starting and that banks are finally accepting cryptocurrencies and ready to store them in a safe and controlled way.”
Nicholas Krapels, business development and blockchain lead at Konstellation, said the sheer number of patents BofA has managed to accumulate is impressive but noted some of them have begun to lapse.
“This pattern demonstrates that BAC does not really have a coherent blockchain strategy and is just looking for something – anything – to show their investors that they’ve ticked the box on [distributed ledger technology.”
How BofA can be a game-changer
Alex McDougall, chief investment officer at Bicameral Ventures, said about BofA’s move:
“While BofA’s multi-layer wallet patent application is very interesting on its own, the real value will potentially be unlocked if this is a signal that BofA is turning its mind to becoming a player in the ‘picks and shovels’ layer of the blockchain industry.”
Igor Chugunov, CEO and founder of CREDITS Blockchain Platform, takes issue with BofA’s wishy-washy blockchain stance.
“The most interesting thing is that the bank management denies the presence of interest in Blockchain technology in every possible way, expressing its doubt about its applicability, but still continues its activities step by step.”
Key questions for big banks who want into crypto world
Hector Hoyos, CEO and CTO of HOYOS Integrity Corporation, said traditional banks must answer two key questions:
- When will they offer to hold crypto assets for their customers?
- When will they engage in retail cryptocurrency acceptance?
“The answer to these two questions is that they are already positioning themselves and thus filing denotes that, but it’s possible that alternative financial services companies such as payment processors could functionally beat them to it.”
David Martin is chief compliance officer and founder of Crypto Clarity LLC, an advisory and consulting services firm. He said:
“Who knows how the various products and services of BofA, not to mention JPMorgan and Facebook, will fair with user groups or how successful they will be.”