The wholly-owned investment fund of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss has filed a patent describing a secure mechanism for storing digital assets, according to a patent filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Winklevoss Attempt Crypto Breakthrough
The document, titled “Systems and methods for storing digital math-based assets using a secure portal,” details a method for storing multiple digital assets, as well as various private keys, on a single user account.
The development may not necessarily be used on Gemini, the Winklevoss brothers-owned exchange, as its investment arm Winklevoss IP focuses on funding blockchain-based avenues instead of facilitating trade. In fact, the patent does not mention Gemini at all.
The new method “divides” a digital asset account into a “plurality of private keys” for increasing the safety of one’s portfolio. According to the patent:
“Private keys for a multi-signature account may be stored as backups, e.g., in secure storage, which may be difficult to access, and may be used in the event that more readily obtainable keys are lost.”
The patent mentions Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) while describing its application to “digital math-based assets,” in addition to obscure altcoins like IxCoins, Qoras, YbCoins, and BBQcoins.
The Crypto Storage System
According to the patent, the system will acquire a customer’s basic personal details–such as addresses, phone numbers, username and password, biometric information, etc.–to link their identity to a set of private keys.
Next, each key will be ciphered by the system before it is segmented into several parts. From there, a copy of a user’s private key will be held in a secure, privately-held storage system along with a portion of the ciphered key stored on a customer’s phone or crypto debit card.
Overall, the patent “breaks up” a ciphered key, which represents a private key, into various pieces and stores it through both the client and company.
In the case of retrieval, a customer’s identity must be authenticated by comparing details given before the assets were stored. Once an automated system confirms the identity, the computer transmits a message to release private key information to the customer.
A key’s “decryption, reassembly and/or deciphering of private keys” will occur before the private key is returned to a rightful owner and will be performed entirely by the system, requiring zero-human interaction at any stage.
While the underlying protocol of the patent is described above, the patent goes in-depth to describe avenues where such a system can be deployed including exchanges, digital wallet providers and Bitcoin-ETF funds.
If awarded, the patent would mark the second instance of a cryptosecurity system described by the Winklevoss twins. In April 2018, the brothers were granted a filing that enhanced digital asset transactions using cryptographic encryption, a conventional technique used to process cloud-based financial transactions.
Cover Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven on Unsplash
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