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The CEO of one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has recently been granted a patent which will allow consumers to trade Bitcoin through email, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The cryptocurrency patent, which was granted in the U.S., portrays a digital system for crypto consumers to make payments in cryptocurrencies through a more common medium like email addresses. The patent essentially describes how these far more convenient addresses will operate similarly – yet, obviously more easily – to traditional crypto wallet addresses.
As the patent documentation elaborates on the system’s operation:
“The processor, if the first user device is logged into the wallet, permits transmission of an email by a user to the first user device to an email address of a second user device and in response to the transmission of the email. The processor records a transfer in the first wallet for an amount of bitcoin from the first wallet to a second wallet identified by the email address.”
Since 2012, Coinbase has been able to make over $2 billion in transaction charges for the services on its crypto trading platform and the new system will not alter the price of charges and fees.
In the proposed system, the crypto sender will ask to send cryptocurrency to an email address and the system will then carry out the transaction of the amount automatically depending on the balance of the sender. Unused digital currency will be kept secured that can only be accessed by email address connected with its crypto wallet.
Another Step of Crypto Moving Away from Anonymity?
In spite of the obvious improved convenience and far more ease with which crypto traders could use this system to transfer cryptocurrencies, there are also some concerns about it. Primarily that it brings closer the disturbing notion for many crypto enthusiasts that cryptocurrency is losing one of its most important attributes: anonymity.
As one user on Twitter pointed out:
“I know we are already doing kyc/aml with the exchanges but linking your wallet to an email address moves us one step closer to “non anonymous” transactions. The patenting and the “vault” for holding unclaimed coins centralizes bitcoin transmissions… it’s a no for me.”
It is important to note that, at least in theory, an email address could still be completely anonymous. But yet, people’s email addresses nowadays tend to be a part of an evident identified real person’s details and recognition of who he/she actually is. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand the worries of some cryptocurrency users.
But perhaps that is the natural course towards which crypto will advance; after all, people also seek comfort and as little constraints as possible. The current prevalent long and random crypto addresses can certainly be perceived as troublesome and encumbering.