On May 26, PayPal filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) describing a physical device that can handle payment operations, but which also comes with support for crypto-currencies.
The device is made up of two main modules, a payment module engine, and a payment module database.
The payment module engine connects to a wireless communication system to ensure connectivity, and also to physical interfaces such as connectors and readers.
The payment module database contains two smaller components, one for storing funding source information and one for security information.
The funding source component is basically a mini-module for storing information about various payment sources such as PayPal accounts or Bitcoin wallets. The security component is tasked with handling any authentication operations.
The patent’s text, as seen below, describes support for multiple currencies using the terms virtual and physical cards, referring to Bitcoin wallets and actual credit cards.
Patent suggests support for multiple crypto-currencies
In the patent filing, paragraph 0042, PayPal describes possible support for multiple virtual cards in order for the device to support various crypto-currencies at the same time, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.
More details about Bitcoin integration can be found in paragraphs 0059 and 0060. These paragraphs describe a classic payment app interface.
To protect sensitive credit card and wallet information, PayPal also plans to integrate TrueCrypt on their device as well.
PayPal hinted at PayPal support back in 2014 and has announced partnerships with Bitcoin exchange services. The company also allowed PayPal merchants to accept in the spring of 2015.
Regardless of the moral and legal dilemmas surrounding Bitcoin’s current status among real-world currencies, PayPal is a company in the business of making money, and will surely want to take advantage of this emerging financial market.
Below is PayPal’s USPTO filing, which includes renderings of the company’s upcoming device.