Mastercard Sees Blockchain as a Means to Combat Identity Theft

Mastercard has filed for a patent to employ a Blockchain system to keep fraudsters from carrying out their identity theft schemes.

Tedra DeSue,
1 hr ago


Identity theft is one of the biggest problems credit card companies must deal with, but one company is taking steps to deal with it and it involves the use of Blockchain.

Mastercard has applied for a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to allow it to create a private Blockchain system to combat the problem.

Here, we’ll look at some of the specifics of the patent application.

Patent filing

In the application, it is stated:

The present disclosure relates to the storage and verification and identity and credential data, specifically the use of distributed storage and storage via blockchain for protection of identity and credential data and the verification thereof.

Mastercard originally filed for the patent in October 2016. The application was published on April 12.

Mastercard seeks to create a semi-private or private Blockchain system that would aid it in combating identity fraud by helping it block the use of fake identity information. The system would essentially receive and store identity data.

This data would include information such as names, addresses and tax identification numbers.

Mastercard’s Blockchain

In the patent, Mastercard describes how its Blockchain system would operate in a semi-private or private fashion.

Only certain nodes would be allowed to submit data, which would keep data from being added that could compromise the accuracy of the data that is stored.

Each node would require each entity to provide a public key and a geographic jurisdiction in order to generate a data file, according to the patent application.

In the application, it is also stated that the subordinate entity's data file would include a digital signature associated with a superior entity that generates an identity value for each entity.

“…wherein the key is the associated identity value, the value comprises the associated attributes, and the key-value pair is stored in a physical data storage device located in a geographic area corresponding to the associated geographic jurisdiction.”


This patent filing is one of a reported 30 or more that Mastercard has filed in which it wants to use Blockchain and cryptos to aid in its operations.

The fact that it is looking to employ Blockchain to combat identity theft is definitely sitting well among industry observers.

Some of the most recent stats were noted in a 2017 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research. It found that fraudsters had successfully targeted a record 15.4 million Americans in 2016, which was a 16% jump from 2015.

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