Brian Armstrong, the chief executive officer of leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has acquired a US patent for a method that allows users to transfer Bitcoin (BTC) by simply sending an email.
Initially submitted in March of 2015, the patent was awarded on Tuesday, December 17th. It describes a system for people to perform digital currency transactions by using email addresses that are connected to their online wallets. Once the sender requests to send Bitcoin to an email address, the program then automatically sends the specified amount from the sender’s crypto address to the recipient’s wallet, which is associated with their email address.
The patent specifically mentions Bitcoin, but doesn’t say whether the email system will allow users to transact with other digital assets. It seems that users of the system can use any email service provider.
The email system will include an exchange facility so that people can perform BTC trades using fiat money from an app that’s linked to their bank accounts.
The proposed system will not have any usage fees, and cryptocurrencies that aren’t being used will be kept in a secure vault that is only accessible via the email account associated with the corresponding wallet.
As mentioned in the patent documents, mining fees are paid by the exchange, not the users. However, users might have to pay transaction fees for transfers that can be made to external wallets,.
Coinbase acquired two additional patents on the same day. One of the patents is an application that ensures users are adhering to the relevant international and local laws. The other describes a type of enforcement protocol for suspending or terminating accounts that may violate regulations.