Financial institutions are paying close attention to the blockchain. Various patent filings have been made public over the past few weeks and months. Bank of America was recently awarded a patent related to letting users access a certain blockchain network. A remarkable development which brings the financial sector closer to incorporating distributed ledgers in an official capacity.

The Bank of America Blockchain Patent

Various use cases for blockchain exist in the financial sector. Numerous options have to be explored in the future. Bank of America is working on managing security and access to resources using a distributed validating network. While a rather broad application of distributed ledger technology, it confirms BoA is serious about this particular implementation.

To put this into perspective, the patent will offer validated permission to certain users. With data being stored in blocks of data, the system can be completely automated. As such, the network in question will be responsible for granting access as well as tracking all user activity. Which type of data will be recorded on this ledger, remains unclear at this stage.

It is not the first time Bank of America has filed a blockchain patent. The financial firm has been working on such patents for quite some time now. No real-world use cases exist for any of their proprietary ledger technology at this stage. Even so, the company deals with sensitive information on a daily basis. Having an immutable record powered by decentralized technology can yield some positive developments in the long run.

Another Permissioned Ledger

It has become apparent the financial sector is mainly interested in permissioned blockchains. Bank of America is building an ecosystem where users need to request access first and foremost. Depending on the reason specified for this access, the request will be granted for a limited time. It is a positive development for the industry as a whole. Traditional data storage solutions are prone to hacking and exploiting due to their centralized nature.

Patents are always a controversial topic in the world of blockchain. Proprietary technology needs to be patented under any circumstance. However, the distributed nature of blockchain seemingly makes that idea somewhat counterproductive. For institutions like Bank of America, it is the normal order of business. As such, it is likely the bank will continue to file blockchain-related patents moving forward.

When this technology will be put to use in the real world, remains to be determined. The exact nature of this specific patent-related blockchain venture remains unclear. Bank of America is, along with other institutions, showing a keen interest in distributed ledgers as of late. Slowly but surely, the financial sector is warming up to this new infrastructure. Incorporating it into existing financial services and products still remains challenging.