Banks and bitcoin have a complex relationship, but they do share some things in common. To its proponents, bitcoin is the future of money, but it still takes traditional money to purchase cryptocurrency, and right now, banks control them. If these Giants can, they’ll also have a controlling stake in the crypto sphere eventually, as the latest patent data shows.

Banks Can’t Get Enough of Blockchain

Bankers, together with the rest of the conventional investment world, missed the opportunity with bitcoin. Apart from few noteworthy exceptions, they didn’t accept that the cryptos would flourish. Primarily, they were correct. But now, the Wall Street & some other financial institutions want more from bitcoins, whether it’s introducing futures trading desks, getting exchanges (such as the Goldman Sachs-affiliated Circle takeover of Poloniex), or even initiation their own blockchains.

Financial Companies Have Filed 150 Cryptocurrency Patents

Banks are among the most fruitful filers of cryptocurrency patents, with Bank of America taking the charge. This suggests a couple of things. Firstly, major banks softly praised bitcoin and the blockchain that powers it. And secondly that they may have made a mistake with bitcoin, but are firmed to make up for time gone. Their culture now seems to be “If you can’t beat them, join them”. Of course, just because Bank of America is cheerfully filing cryptocurrency patents doesn’t mean it’s about to start its own $BOA coin.

Bitcoin Patent Report has compiled a list of companies within the banking sector that have been fruitful on the cryptocurrency front. Aside from Bank of America, which heads the list, there are some other fascinating newcomers that make the top 10. Toronto-Dominion Bank has 85,000 workforces for example and loyalty of another 45,000. These are the kind of institutions to allocate a project team to blockchain and tossed some money at it “just in case”.

The Actual Number of Banking Patents Is Higher

While official statistics point up roughly 150 cryptocurrency patents have been filed by major banks, the real figure is likely to be two or three times higher. Patent applications are not available until 18 months from when they were first filed, and much of the explosive development and investment in all things crypto has occurred within this period. In reality, the number of patents filed by the banking industry could be closer to 500. Paypal, which can be considered an equivalent competitor with cryptocurrency is a remarkable entry on the list with 11 patents to its name. It recently filed a patent for an “expedited cryptocurrency transaction system”.

Recently, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and JP Morgan have all justified the threats posed by cryptocurrencies in their annual filings to the SEC. While bitcoin isn’t substituting the SWIFT banking system anytime soon, cryptocurrencies present a new economic system. Given the disrupting potential of blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies associated with it, it’s quite clear that major banks are securing a stake. Patent data is an indicator that shows that banks are taking cryptocurrency very seriously. It’s no surprise that banks are trying to position themselves at the heart of it, not least to future proof themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Ricky Makan is a venture capitalist and Crypto Enthusiast best known for pioneering the market for Digital Marketing. He is a Co-founder of Unkrypted, a platform which provides the latest news and information that helps understand everything about the ever-evolving world of digital currencies.