ATMchain? Card Giant China UnionPay Files New Blockchain Patent

China UnionPay hopes to patent a system for connecting a network of ATMs using blockchain tech, public records reveal.

Aug 28, 2017 at 11:15 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:52 a.m. UTC

China UnionPay, the payment card giant, hopes to patent a system for connecting a network of ATMs using blockchain technology, public records reveal.

Documents released late last month by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China details a concept by which a group of ATMs acts as nodes within a blockchain-powered network, sharing transactions through a distributed database in a bid to achieve a higher degree of security and uptime.

According to the patent application, the concept aims to solve a key problem: "ensuring the security of transactional information" despite having to rely on a limited amount of data coming from a single point of communication that could be prone to attack or disruption.

As the application explains:

"According to the present invention, the server can synchronize all the information directly as the monitoring node, facilitate the aggregation of the transaction information, and perform the predetermined processing on the transaction information by using the asymmetric encryption algorithm, thereby ensuring the security of the transaction information."

Whether China UnionPay is looking to put this intellectual property to commercial use remains to be seen, as the company has to date not commented on this potential use case for the tech. The application, first published in late July, was initially submitted to SIPO in January.

China UnionPay, which operate's the world's largest payment card network, has worked with blockchain in the past, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Last September, the card giant revealed that it was pursuing a consumer loyalty points project in conjunction with IBM.

China UnionPay image via TungCheung/Shutterstock

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