PURCHASE, New York – A new patent has been granted to Mastercard that covers a method for “managing fractional reserves of blockchain currency,” according Creditcards.com.
The method merges traditional payment technology with blockchain technology, allowing for secure, speedy transactions. That means someday in the future, consumers could use credit cards to make purchases in virtual currency, such as bitcoin, rather than traditional currency, like U.S. dollars.
“We’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders,” said Seth Eisen, Mastercard senior vice president of communications. “At Mastercard, patent applications are part of that process, a step we take to protect the company’s intellectual property, whether or not the idea ever comes to market.”
No one is predicting when or if Mastercard will roll out a bitcoin-enabled credit card. At this time, all major credit card companies regularly decline to process cryptocurrency-backed transactions, plus many major issuers, including Bank of America, Chase and Citigroup, have blocked the purchase of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency with their credit cards.