Bonkers bankers JPMorgan Chase just did an Alexander Bell by rushing to get a patent for Bitcoin before the real inventors.
Total bankers JPMorgan Chase has filed a patent application 20130317984, for an electronic commerce system that sounds remarkably like Bitcoin. The patent is wider than the ocean and describes a "method and system for processing Internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network",
If the patent is enforced, it will mean that each Bitcoin transaction will be a breach of the US's super-wonderful patent laws and a percentage will have to go to JP Morgan Chase for inventing it. A similar stunt was carried out by Scottish inventor Graeme Bell who patented an idea for the telephone before Elisha Gray who actually invented it.
If you do not believe us, the patented system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the internet through an electronic transfer of funds -- just like Bitcoin. It would allow for micropayments without processing fees -- like Bitcoin. In addition, it could kill off wire transfers through companies like Western Union -- like Bitcoin.
However, the patent application fails to mention "Bitcoin" at all, which means that JP Morgan Chase is pretending that it did not exist.
In fact, the patent said that while new internet payment mechanisms have been rapidly emerging ... none of the emerging efforts have got more than a toehold in the market place.
Bitcoin soared to a new high of $1,242 on November 29 and there are more than 12 million coins in "circulation".
Advocates describe Bitcoin as the foundation stone of a Utopian economy - after all it has no borders, no change fees, no closing hours, and no one to tell you what you can and cannot do with your money. Well now it seems that JP Morgan Chase can.