One of the problems that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have is how difficult they are to use. Traditional banking systems, for all their obscurity of processes, are still the easiest thing to use when dealing with currency transfer and conversion. San-Francisco based crypto exchange Coinbase has filed a patent that may change all of that.
Emailing Bitcoin to a Recipient
Currently, for a bitcoin transaction to take place, a user has to get an encrypted public key from the recipient of the funds and then send it to them via their bitcoin wallet. The patent that Coinbase has filed is concerned with offering users something more straightforward to use than the hash code for the public key. Instead, a user can simply send bitcoin to the recipient’s email address. Coinbase believes that this will allow the cryptocurrency to gain more widespread usage among the casual user community. The hope is that more users will gain confidence in conducting transactions with Bitcoin.
Some Limitations Exist
The method of using an email for sending payment currently only supports Bitcoin-based payments. Other cryptocurrencies aren’t included in the technology’s initial patent filing. Verification for the transaction could take up to 48 hours. Coinbase’s new patent shows a shift away from the business’ current focus as a trading platform and a move towards pushing for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment medium. Coinbase aims to have a system that offers users full control over their finances within the next decade.
A Volatile Commodity
Bitcoin has had a tumultuous history, with prices of the coin hitting $20,000 before coming to a halting crash at the start of 2018. Prices have now recovered somewhat, ranging in the $7,000 to $8,000 window. As more big businesses and financial institutions start to realize the usefulness of cryptocurrency, we may yet see another upswing in the value of the coin, if only as a trustworthy intermediary between other coins and fiat currency.