PayPal Is Seeking Faster Crypto Payments Tech

PayPal is eyeing a way to boost the speed of cryptocurrency payments, a newly-released patent filing shows.

An application for an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System” published on March 1 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a method by which private keys – the strings of numbers and letters used to transact or otherwise control one’s cryptocurrency holdings – are swapped from a buyer to a seller behind the scenes.

The aim of the concept is to narrow the amount of time it takes for payments to go through between a consumer and a merchant, avoiding the process of sending a transaction and waiting for it to be included in the next block on the network. To do this, PayPal proposed a way to create secondary wallets with their own unique private keys for buyers and sellers. The system would transfer private keys corresponding to an exact amount of any given cryptocurrency.

As the filing explains:

“The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”

The submission is a notable one, coming years after PayPal announced partnerships with several bitcoin payment processors that allowed merchants to accept the cryptocurrency through the company’s Payments Hub starting in 2014.

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is also reportedly invested heavily in bitcoin via Founders Fund, the VC firm he co-founded.