Payment processing giant Mastercard (NASDAQ: MA) is accelerating its advance into Web3 by filing new digital currency-related patents unfazed by brewing regulatory thunderstorms.
Mastercard’s latest filing focuses on providing virtual asset service providers (VASPs) with downloadable application programming interfaces (APIs) for several uses, according to intellectual property lawyer Michael Kondoudis.
Details from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicate that the APIs may be used by VASPs to process digital currency transactions or to facilitate the exchange of consumer metadata for compliance purposes. The June 12 patent filing seeks to create verification standards for verifying blockchain transactions.
This is not the first time Mastercard is filing Web3 trademarks with the USPTO, as it had previously filed for an impressive 15 trademarks in April 2022. At that time, the filings revolved around a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse, seeking to trademark its name and logo in virtual worlds.
“We are continually looking for opportunities to deliver new and unique experiences to our customers and cardholders. This filing is simply part of that effort, ensuring that the trademark protection for our brand carries through to any potential use in the metaverse uninterrupted,” Mastercard said.
Aside from stacking up trademark filings, Mastercard has been racking up acquisitions in the industry. In 2022, the payments behemoth acquired Web3 analytics firm CipherTrace while launching collaborations with Uphold and Gemini to create virtual currency credit cards.
Back in 2021, Mastercard announced that it would be supporting selected digital currencies on its platform, announcing groundbreaking partnerships with BitPay, Wirex, and LVL to create credit and debit cards. A similar arrangement with Bakkt saw Mastercard extend its crypto-as-a-service offering for customer loyalty options.
A mad dash for Web3 patents
A bird’s eye view indicates a heated race by corporate entities to achieve Web3-related patents to avoid falling down the innovative pecking order. According to Kondoudis, over seven firms have filed for Web3 patents in the last week across several industries, a trend that has shown little to no signs of waning.
HSBC joined the bandwagon by filing for metaverse banking and consulting services, while sportswear brand Adidas filed for Bored Ape-themed NFT trademarks. Pharmaceutical giant Takeda threw its hat in the ring with two trademarks for offering virtual drugs and NFT-backed files.
In January, global blockchain solutions company nChain was included by business analysts LexisNexis as part of its Top 100 Innovators. This is thanks to nChain’s over 1,000 patents primarily focused on Bitcoin and blockchain.
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