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Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase receives patent for bitcoin security solution

Leading cryptocurrency startup Coinbase has received a patent related to a security system for storing, and distributing private keys.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) approved and published the patent last week on August 15. Entitled "Key ceremony of a security system forming part of a host computer for cryptographic transactions”, the patent lists former Coinbase engineers James Hudson and Andrew Alness as inventors, CoinDesk reported.

The patent application for “key ceremony” was submitted in 2015. The startup has filed a number of patents related to security of private keys in the past.

The document underscores the security concern for bitcoin users that the private keys may be stolen from their wallets. It said that existing systems do not provide a solution for maintaining security over private keys, while they still allow users to checkout on a merchant page and making payments using their wallets.

It explains:

"A key ceremony application creates bundles for custodians encrypted with their passphrases. Each bundle includes master key share. The master key shares are combined to store an operational master key. The operational master key is used for private key encryption during a checkout process. The operational private key is used for private key decryption for transaction signing in a payment process. The bundles further include TLS keys for authenticated requests to create an API key for a web application to communicate with a service and to unfreeze the system after it has been frozen by an administrator."

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