Network tech giant Cisco won a patent on Tuesday that could be applied to the bitcoin mining process.
Cisco submitted a patent application back in September 2015 for a "Crowd-sourced cloud computing" system, according to information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent outlines how computer owners may be able to offer up their unused processing power for certain processes - including the energy-intensive mining process.
The filing describes how a user could partition their resources to create dedicated computing power for a cloud application. The cloud application would then be used for various purposes, Cisco notes, going on to explain:
"This model is suitable for, among other things, offering distributed processing and services that can be optimized for speed, volume, scale and resiliency, cost, and regulatory compliance--for example, distributed neighborhood theft protection systems, or cluster, city or municipality county relevant services... One such case involves bitcoin mining, which may be very computational intensive and is typically more convenient for every participant when done in 'mining pools.'"
Cisco touts the benefits of distributed processing in the filing, noting that its system could be easily scaled and would be resilient against certain forms of attack. Further, "the service provider can use geographic distribution to offload or optimize network loading, as well as to resell large-scale, low-cost computing and storage capacity," the company notes.
As previously reported, Cisco is one of a number of enterprise technology firms researching applications of blockchain, particularly in the area of connected devices or the Internet of Things.
The firm has also sought patents for other uses of blockchain, including one that would leverage the tech in order to track data for group chats.
Bitcoin mining image via Shutterstock