Visa has filed an application to create digital currency on a blockchain with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
According to the application published May 14 — but filed way back in November 2018 — inventors Simon J. Hurry and Alexander Pierre with the Visa International Service Association in San Francisco have sought a patent for a digital currency recorded on a blockchain and controlled by a central entity computer.
It cites Ethereum as a possible network. The application details two records, one of which would indicate “the digital currency for an amount associated with the denomination has been created for a public key associated with a digital wallet”. The other record notes the “removal of the physical currency from circulation in a fiat currency system.”
The application describes a centralized process to maintain the value of the stablecoin:
“...every time a dollar worth of digital fiat currency is generated, the central entity ensures that a corresponding physical dollar bill is removed from circulation, in order to regulate the value of the digital fiat currency.”
While the U.S. dollar is specifically mentioned as one of the fiat currencies to be used, Forbes reported that the patent could apply to other central bank digital currencies such as pounds, yen, and euros: “The physical currency of a central bank anywhere in the world could be digitized.”
In February, Coinbase announced that it had become a principal member of Visa, which would allow the exchange to issue debit cards for spending crypto. Two months later, the Lightning-compatible Fold app joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program to roll out a co-branded Bitcoin (BTC) cashback rewards card.