Cryptocurrency exchange startup Coinbase has been awarded a new patent related to private key security, public records show.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the patent yesterday, entitled "Key ceremony of a security system forming part of a host computer for cryptographic transactions." Two former Coinbase engineers – James Hudon, who now works for Uber, and Andrew Alness, currently employed at Keybase – are listed as inventors.
At its heart, the patent concept relates to a method for storing and utilizing bitcoin private keys. Coinbase has filed other patents in the past related to private key security.
As the patent document explains:
Public records indicate that the patent is the fourth to be awarded to Coinbase to date, and is one of a number of concepts the startup has moved to protect. The application for the "key ceremony" patent was originally submitted in May 2015.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.
Key image via Shutterstock
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.