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IBM Gets Patent For A 'Self-Aware Token' That Tracks Its Own 'Life Cycle' Even When Offline

Neer Varshney

The International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM), or IBM, has received a patent for a so-called "self-aware token" that tracks its complete life cycle even during offline transactions.

What Happened

The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded the patent to IBM on January 7, as reported by CoinDesk on Tuesday.

In the patent, IBM describes a concept for a token that records information about its offline transactions when they happen, and later synchronizes the information with the main platform, whicm means a token is authenticated and validated when it comes backs online.

The platform is the extension of the platform IBM patented back in 2012 to track the complete life cycle of a token, but without offline transactions.

These offline transactions can either happen in conventional brick and mortar stores or electronically on devices when logged into financial or e-commerce systems that aren't connected to the IBM platform at the time.

The patent described the method through which these tokens can later appear on the platform.

IBM says that the offline transaction could include any action, such as a new purchase or withdrawal of the e-currency. The data of the transaction will be stored on the user's own device, according to the patent.

Why It Matters

The technology veteran company said that the patented technology would help bridge the gap between the electronic currencies -- whether cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or reward tokens like utilized by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox or games on Facebook Inc.'s (NASDAQ: FB) platform -- and traditional fiat currencies.

"As consumers begin adopting the use of these new forms of currency, the relative value of these [e-currencies] as compared to traditional hard currencies or goods and services will be called into question," IBM said in the patent on the need for such a technology.

IBM has long been a part of blockchain innovation, being an early member of the hyperledger project of the Linux Foundation.

As noted by CoinDesk, other companies, including Square Inc., owned by Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey, are working on bridging the gap between digital currencies and traditional financial instruments. Square was awarded a patent for fiat to cryptocurrency payment network last week.

Price Action

IBM's shares closed 0.67% higher at $139.55 on Tuesday.


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