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Goldman Sachs Granted 'SETLcoin' Cryptocurrency Patent

Investment bank Goldman Sachs has been awarded a patent for its proposed "SETLcoin" cryptocurrency settlement system.

Jul 13, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:32 p.m. UTC

Investment bank Goldman Sachs has been awarded a patent for its proposed "SETLcoin" cryptocurrency settlement system.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published Goldman's patent on July 11, entitled "Cryptographic currency for securities settlement". The bank made headlines when the existence of the patent application was revealed in late 2015. 

The concept envisions a system for settling securities trades using a built-in cryptocurrency. When filed in December of that year, the application notably outlined methods for exchanging SETLcoins for digitized stocks for firms like Google and Microsoft, as well as cryptocurrencies, naming bitcoin and litecoin in particular.

Here's how Goldman describes the system:

"[A] SETLcoin wallet can house a single security or multiple denominations of the same security (e.g., 1 IBM-S SETLcoin valued at 100 IBM shares). SETLcoin wallets may also house multiple securities (e.g., 1 IBM-S SETLcoin and 2 GOOG-S SETLcoins). For example, a single IBM-S SETLcoin may be exchangeable for one or more "GOOG" SETLcoins (i.e., Google shares), for 13,000 USD SETLcoins, 100 litecoins, and/or for 5 bitcoins."

Goldman's patent application was initially filed in October 2014. Paul Walker, co-head of the bank's technology division, and Phil Venables, chief information risk officer for Goldman, are listed as inventors.

A representative for Goldman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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