Visa Files Patent For Cryptocurrency System Replacing Cash

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published on Thursday a patent application entitled “digital fiat currency,” filed by Visa International Service Association on November 8th, 2019.

The filing is for a fiat-linked cryptocurrency system using “a private permissioned distributed ledger platform.” It describes a central computer, its responsibilities, and key roles of the system: central entities, validating entities, redeeming entities, and users. “A central entity may be a central bank, which regulates a monetary supply,” the document details. Validating entities “are blockchain nodes, which may be peers such as banks.” Redeeming entities “may accept physical currency for exchange for digital fiat currency,” such as an ATM or a bank branch location.

The central entity computer generates the digital currency that is recorded on a blockchain and “may determine that a particular digital currency unit should be added to or removed from the blockchain.” The filing adds that “the central entity computer causes removal of the physical currency from circulation in a fiat currency system.” 

It goes on to explain that the payment ecosystem may become 100% digital and “cash may be removed from the markets in a frictionless manner” to improve the payment ecosystem. “Users may hold digital currency with the same denomination as the local physical currency.” 

It also notes that once the digital fiat currency is issued, “A user or bank may transfer the digital currency from wallet to wallet or store the digital currency on a smart card and transfer the smart card to another entity.”

A Visa spokesperson said “Each year we seek patents for hundreds of new ideas … While not all patents will result in new products or features, Visa respects intellectual property and we are actively working to protect our ecosystem, our innovations and the Visa brand.” 

Microsoft was recently granted an international patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization for a cryptocurrency system using body activity data.

[image: Wikimedia Commons]

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