A payment system using “virtual cash”. This is the core theme of a new patent recently filed by the United States bank JP Morgan Chase. What has that to do with Bitcoin? Well, it surely makes us think about the world’s most famous cryptocurrency and even the financial institution compared their future service to the virtual coin.
According to JP Morgan, quoted by BBC, the features of this electronic system will allow users to make payments “completely anonymously”, much like Bitcoin. Besides, users won’t have to pay for “wiring fees” when making transactions.
Although the bank believes that traditional credit cards will still rule the financial scene for “at least the next five years”, claiming that the “momentum continues to build in favour of credit cards”, the institution obviously believes there’s something beyond plastic. The statement is part of the patent application submitted by the bank, which starts by explaining the new system:
Embodiments of the invention include a method and system for conducting financial transactions over a payment network. The method may include associating a payment address of an account with an account holder name, the account residing at a financial institution and the associated payment address of the account configured to allow withdrawals by the account holder only and to allow a plurality of deposits to be made at different times.
The method further includes freely publishing the payment address and making it available to users of an internet portal or search engine. The method further includes receiving data over a network identifying a deposit to be made to the account, assigning the deposit to the account using the payment address, and notifying the payer of the assignment. At least one directory is used for associating the account holder with the payment address.
The bank’s new project might have been boosted by the conclusions of the hearings hold in November by the US Senate committee in Washington DC. During the meetings, Bitcoin was considered a “legitimate financial service”, although regulation and a proper set of guidelines are still under debate, not only in the United States, but in other countries.