Canadian parent conglomerate of the ninth largest US Bank, Toronto-Dominion (TD) bank, has applied for a US patent of a new point-of-sale system that utilizes blockchain technology.
The patent application refers to a “virtual draft system and method” while referencing ”blockchain” on ten occasions. It is placed in several different international classifications regarding payments and remittance.
TD Bank has made the application in order to own the intellectual property surrounding the idea, but it is not clear if it has fully developed the technology for general usage yet. The application describes a modern computer consisting of both a processor and storage attached, that can broker payments between currencies.
It outlines a form of payment that grants the user access to multiple accounts, with at least one of the accounts required to hold the funds in the currency being dealt in. One provision describes the system of actually being capable of supporting blockchain asset, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The application quotes the process as ”[the] first party initiates a transaction including a transfer of a digital asset, such as a distributed ledger-based currency. The transaction is provided to a central authority for authorization and/or real-time drafting”.
There are similar forms of payment available that allow access to all of an individual’s accounts, but they need further development. It is an appealing concept not only for cryptocurrency holders but for entities such as PayPal, that may have a similar product or similar existing intellectual property.
The patent application clearly avoids any language that might be interpreted as an attempt to patent the entire blockchain network, by focusing on several embodiments of the way the system can be utilized.
Many computer programmers and engineers have historically opposed software patents, being suspicious of intellectual property and the associated problems with open source that are approaching blockchain.
TD Bank applied for the patent in September 2016.