A spokesperson for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has confirmed that the top 5 Canadian bank has filed patents for crypto trading platform technology. The spokesperson would not confirm plans to launch, however.
“(L)ike many other organizations,” Jean Francois Thibault told The Logic Monday, “(RBC) files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected.”
According to The Logic, RBC has enrolled 4 patent applications in the US and Canada regarding a possible platform.
Language from one patent suggests the tech may be designed to streamline use of cryptocurrencies, which can be complicated due to the relatively high levels of computer efficacy and responsibility needed to properly manage ones cryptocurrency “private keys.”
Unlike conventional payment systems, Bitcoin and other crypto transactions cannot be reversed by a sender or interlocutor. Once a person inputs their keys (essentially alphanumeric passwords), they are en route, and mistakes can be costly
Old-school crypto aficionados typically recommend storing cryptographic keys offline in hardware storage devices called “cold wallets.” This recommendation is made because of a very high number of hacks executed against cryptocurrency changes. To date, more than a billion dollars in cryptocurrencies have been stolen by hackers from exchanges.
Businesses hoping to take crypto more mainstream are working to offer secure custody to customers who likely can’t be bothered with the risk or fuss of maintaining a personal cold wallet.
According to The Logic, the latest RBC patents suggest the bank may one day offer crypto trading accounts. Other patents filed by RBC include possible “blockchain” systems for the management of credit scores, vehicle records, consumer points and loans tracking.
Three Canadian crypto exchanges have folded or been investigated in recent months, including:
- QuadrigaCX: a Vancouver-based crypto exchange that shut down in January following the untimely death of founder Gerald Cotten, who allegedly died without giving anyone else password access to $250 million CAD in customer funds he allegedly stored in cold wallets.
- Einstein Exchange: On November 1st, receivers from Grant Thornton entered and secured the offices of the Einstein Cryptocurrency Exchange in Vancouver after its founder stopped communicating with investigators from the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC). An estimated $16 million CAD in customer money is believed to be outstanding.
- ezBTC: On November 4th, news broke that another Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange, ezBTC, is being investigated by the BC Securities Commission after the regulator received complaints from customers claiming they cannot access funds stored on the platform. Reporters from The Tyee found four lawsuits currently pending against ezBTC owner David Smillie, including one claiming damages of $60 million CAD.