MasterCard, a company that has been vocal against cryptocurrencies in recent months, has filed yet another blockchain related patent, this time with the goal of speeding blockchain node activation.
In a patent published this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but filed by MasterCard back in October, the payment company details a method where nodes can connect to and verify contents of a blockchain in a much faster way. Currently, new nodes must verify “thousands, millions, or even billions of transaction records” that have built up over the lifespan of the blockchain, creating a bottleneck that delays each new node from participating in the network.
The new method proposes adding “fast track flags” to block headers so new nodes can analyze and verify the blockchain at a faster rate. The patent explains:
“A node in the blockchain network, or any computing device verifying the blockchain or data included therein, may quickly navigate the blockchain by identifying blocks that have activated fast track flags. For verification, the node may identify the earlier fast track block (e.g., based on timestamp) and hash that block using the predetermined hashing algorithm(s), and then verify that the fast track reference in the more recent fast track block is the same as the hash of the earlier fast track block.“
The patent also discusses operating a uniquely-configured blockchain network that would handle querying, hashing, and signatory transactions to further speed up the new node process.
While MasterCard has been anti-crypto – with the company CEO Ajay Banga calling cryptocurrencies “junk” – they have been very keen on researching blockchain technology, having filed over 30 patents related to blockchain to date.