Tech 9 August 2018

Cecille de Jesus

Intuit obtains patent for sending crypto payments via SMS

Recent developments going retro have been popping up lately. And no, it isn’t a hipster thing.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has just awarded California-based business and financial software company Intuit a patent for bitcoin transactions through text message—as in SMS and MMS (multimedia messaging service). The method intends to use “a password request associated with an account of the user” as a validation for transactions.

“A method for processing payment. The method includes receiving, by a payment service, a payment text message comprising a payment amount and an identifier of a payee mobile device, validating the payment text message based on a payer balance of a virtual payer account maintained by the payment service for the payer, creating, by the payment service and in response to the payment text message, a virtual payee account based on the identifier of the payee mobile device, transferring, in response to creating the virtual payee account, the payment amount from the virtual payer account to the virtual payee account, and sending, by the payment service to the payee mobile device, a notification text message to notify the payee regarding a payee balance of the virtual payee account, wherein the payee balance is determined based at least on the payment amount,” the patent, published August 7, describes the payment method specifically for BTC.

It can be noted that a similar service already exists for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). CoinText enables users to access and move their BCH around without the need for an internet connection and relies only on SMS commands.

Recent developments going retro have been popping up lately. And no, it isn’t a hipster thing. Developers are trying to facilitate mass adoption by breaking down barriers to entry, and to do that they need to make sure those who have cheaper, less sophisticated phones can easily get in. Earlier this month, Bitcoin Cash wallet Electron Cash also released the “J2ME” version of their wallet—which would work on cheap, basic Nokia phones and make crypto transactions more accessible to micro-economies in poor countries.

The SMS-based cryptocurrency payment solution is an idea that dates back to Bitcoin’s early days. Apart from SMS, DVB-T and even morse code have been proposed before. We have yet to see whether someone will take up those challenges, too.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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