Speed Up Transactions
Payments giant PayPal has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), published on March 1, to increase the speed of cryptocurrency payments. The patent describes an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System”, involving the use of secondary private keys to shorten wait times for transactions between consumers and merchants.
The aim of the concept is to narrow the amount of time it takes for payments to go through between a consumer and a merchant, avoiding the process of sending a transaction and waiting for it to be included in the next block on the network. To do this, PayPal proposed a way to create secondary wallets with their own unique private keys for buyers and sellers. The system would transfer private keys corresponding to an exact amount of any given cryptocurrency.
The patent’s inventors are listed as Cheng Tian and Sandy Lynn Godsey of San Jose, California, with PayPal Inc. listed as the applicant. According to the patent, PayPal is attempting to solve the problem of slow transaction times for cryptocurrency trades that have led potential crypto users to “instead choose to perform the transaction using traditional payment methods rather than virtual currency:”
As the filing explains:
"The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction."
The submission is a notable one, coming years after PayPal announced partnerships with several bitcoin payment processors that allowed merchants to accept the cryptocurrency through the company's Payments Hub starting in 2014.
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is also reportedly invested heavily in bitcoin via Founders Fund, the VC firm he co-founded.
In late February 2018, PayPal’s chief financial officer John Rainey spoke favorably of the possibility for Bitcoin (BTC) to become a popular payment method “used every day”.