Aug 20, 2017 | Updated: 07:21 PM EDT

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Grants AT&T Patent For Bitcoin-Powered Subscriber Server

Jun 08, 2017 03:45 PM EDT

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(Photo : Getty Images/Ethan Miller) LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08: A general view of the Bitcoin booth at the 2015 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted in May the patent application of telecom giant AT&T for a Bitcoin-powered subscriber server. AT&T applied for the patent in April 2015. The server is a digital ledger capable of administering and tracking transactions on its own without bank involvement.

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The Bitcoin-powered subscriber server can store the cryptocurrency which could convert it later into real money, Android Headlines reports. It effectively is a one-stop shop for Bitcoin transactions. The grant of the patent hints that AT&T could offer on-demand content or paywall to subscribers and accept the cryptocurrency as payment.

If AT&T would enable the functionality of its Bitcoin-powered subscriber server, subscribers can pay their cable or phone bills using Bitcoins. According to the patent application of AT&T, the Bitcoin backend will be used instead of the wireless carrier’s own blockchain built from scratch because of the large number of decentralized nodes that comprise the blockchain. It will provide extra security and makes it easier to establish a customized server.

According to Coindesk, the aim of the Bitcoin-powered subscriber server is to improve the resiliency of AT&T’s systems by the creation of a distributed network of nodes which share information. Other than AT&T, another American company is also planning to use blockchain technology.

Walmart, the U.S. retail giant, is also applying for a patent likely similar to the Bitcoin-powered subscriber server of AT&T. The purpose of Walmart in utilizing blockchain technology is to track the delivery of packages by the company’s unmanned drones. Besides Bitcoin, another cryptocurrency using the blockchain technology is Ethereum. Walmart has been working on the project since October 2016 to improve its tracking, transportation, and selling of food to consumers across China. Walmart filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 25. The retail giant had experimented with blockchain technology in its supply chain processes in the past.


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