Have you ever dreamed of using the blockchain technology to take a simple image of a receipt and check it against a database of stored records? You probably haven’t, unless you work with this, and this is why American Express (Amex) has thought of this idea for you.
Amex has recently filed a patent for a blockchain system that will be used to capture and to transmit the images of a paper receipt to check it against a blockchain. The information was originally released by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office today, November 13.
The patent is listed for the travel subsidiary of the company, American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc. It is titled “Linking digital images with related records” and it basically outlines a method of using a image of a receipt to record it and transmit information using the blockchain technology.
According to the patent, the system will let a user with a mobile device capture the image of a receipt and then use a “optical character recognition” to decipher what is written on the image using matching words to find “related records”, which will be the transaction history of a certain receipt.
The document has mentions of data blocks that will be used as databases to include hierarchical, relational, graphical blockchain information and other database configurations. Also, it may bring benefits for data storage that are further elaborated like maintaining a growing list of data records and providing the enhanced security needed for each block to hold individual transactions and blockchain executables.
Not The First Patent
Back in July, American Express Travel Related Services Co. has filed another patent that also included the blockchain technology. This specific patent would be used for the automation of a proof of encrypting payment service that could be used with a public key on an initial node of a technology like the blockchain.
Amex is constantly looking for ways to make the lives of its customers easier and to get an edge in the market, so using the blockchain technology and filing for patents is an efficient way of doing it.
American Express is also far from being the first company that will look for blockchain patents. Many other companies including giants of the tech industry are filing for patents recently. American companies like IBM, Amazon and Microsoft are some of the companies that most file for patents in the U. S. Patent Office.
In China, there is a significant activity for blockchain patents, too. Companies like Alibaba and many state-based tech companies constantly file for blockchain patents as there is a run to get the best patents first and the companies that are able to do it will have the means to lead in the market.