It is ironically interesting to note how the traditional payment systems Mastercard and Visa are adapting to the blockchain tech. To further its interest in blockchain technology, Mastercard Innovation Lab has experimented and filed a successful patent for a system designed to increase the speed of node verifications.

The company has been on an overdrive with a hiring announcement in April 2018 of 175 people including people with blockchain related expertise. The company has filed a new blockchain patent for solving the limitations of blockchain verification process via different nodes. As the company notes in its patent application –

“One of the benefits of the blockchain is it can serve as an immutable ledger that stores a record for every transaction ever conducted via that blockchain. As such, a blockchain may store thousands, millions, or even billions of transaction records over time in a vast number of different blocks. However, this may cause a difficulty for any new node that wants to participate in the blockchain. In such instances, a blockchain may contain thousands, millions, or billions of blocks, each of which must be verified by the new node prior to the generation and addition of new blocks to the blockchain.”

It continues that since this verification takes a large amount of time, wherein new blocks go on getting added which cannot participate due to this verification delay. Mastercard has worked on the solution to this delay and increased the speed of verification. It states that use of specific changes in the coding, headers of blocks, specialized flags, hash values may increase the speed. This will enhance the verification, thus reducing computing time, thus the power required to verify the blockchain.

The patent goes on to elaborate on the various methods to increase the speed of the verification and the changes to be brought about to enable this. These alternative blockchains that will os be created by “fast-tracking navigation” systems in the coding.

Mastercard had proposed another patent on April 12, 2018, where it addressed a private or semiprivate blockchain to store the mapping of an identified user along with their trading information.  The platform would develop a one-to-one data file for entities which would further be mapped with a public key and a geographic authority. The authenticated node would then distribute a signature on each data file of the object. Once a hashing module (maintained by the processing server) generates an assessable identity of the object, the timestamp will be appended to this block, and the record will be saved in a database.

Mastercard has embraced blockchain technology though has classified the purchase of cryptocurrencies via credit card as a “cash advance” inviting higher interest rate. Thus, the credit cards used to purchase these virtual currencies were charged higher fees and users had to accrue this fees as soon as they used the card to purchase this.  Following this, J.P.Morgan had to face a class action lawsuit on surprise fees on its credit card transactions.