MASTERCARD Receives Patent for Anonymous Blockchain Transactions

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Mastercard continues to work on blockchain deployment scenarios: A recent patent describes anonymous transactions.

So far, the focus for the financial services provider Mastercard has been on the general hedging of payments using blockchain technologies such as Distributed Ledger. As early as December 2016, Mastercard filed a patent for a system that allows anonymous transactions over a blockchain network.

Anonymous transactions important for private and business customers

According to the text, the transparency of the usual blockchain transactions is a hindrance to the acceptance of the technology for everyday transactions, whether for private or business customers.

In addition, the openness of transactions means that competitors or third parties are likely to receive real-time transaction data.

“Thus, there is a need for a technical solution whereby an entity may participate in a transaction where transaction details may be posted publicly to ensure accountability and trust in the data, while still providing anonymity and inability of others to track individual transactions or volume information by transaction party identifying information of both parties of a transaction to satisfy the confidentiality needs of each entity involved in the transaction.”

Or, in simpler words: Details of a payment may (and should) be visible, but only in a limited amount and only within the scope of the necessary.

There are already cryptocurrencies that allow for anonymous payments, for example Monero and Zcash. Bitcoin’s Lightning network is already working on improved privacy.

The difference to the Mastercard system is the implementation: Mastercard does not use a public currency. In addition, the system is based on the interaction with a processing server, which contains a database of all users. In addition to identification data, an entry contains a string of secret data.

The processing server creates two hash values ​​after initiating a transaction: the first contains the transaction details, the second one is created based on the first one in combination with the user’s secret data. This can then be published on a blockchain, for example, without revealing any specific transaction data.

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