Bank of America Tries to Patent Multi-Tiered Cryptocurrency Wallet
Bank of America in Times Square, New York. Adam Jeffery/CNBC

The second largest bank in the U.S., Bank of America, is trying to patent a digital currency wallet with multiple layers of asset access, according to a patent application published on 15 August.

According to the publication, the patent application, called “Multi-Tiered Digital Wallet Security”, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in February 2018. It describes a multi-tiered wallet interface, which will be configured to work in a decentralized peer to peer network, and which will provide different tiered access depending on the passwords used.

Manu Kurian, a senior tech manager at Bank of America, has been listed as the inventor of the technology, which according to the application is needed for a better and more secure digital wallet infrastructure. The application points out that the current cryptocurrency wallet system has a number of security issues, mostly related to the management of private keys. As an example, private keys held by the user could be stolen or mishandled, while keys held by third parties can no longer be considered wholly owned by the user. The patent application describes how a multi-tiered system could improve security:


“Through the digital wallet interface, a user of the user computing device may be able to partition digital currency holdings into one or more differentiated storage compartments or tiers. Each of the one or more compartments may be password secured and may only permit access to the amount of digital currency holdings specified by the user.”

Bank of America is not the only bank around the world that has seen the security problems that stem from private key management. Earlier this month South Korea’s oldest bank, Shinhan, signed a memorandum of understanding with two tech companies in order to develop a secure “Private Key Management System”.