According to a patent awarded yesterday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, credit card giant Mastercard is developing a system to generate blocks for a partitioned blockchain. Specifically, the patent would allow for a permissioned blockchain capable of supporting multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time.
The patent, which Mastercard originally filed for in July 2016, brings to the fore a challenge facing blockchain developers today. Currently, companies that wish to store different kinds of data or use various types of cryptocurrency are forced to operate multiple blockchains, which necessarily consumes resources and processing power.
Mastercard hopes to solve the problem by using "subnets." These would be able to receive transaction information from various computing devices and allow companies to add data of any kind and size without conforming to a standardized data format.
Mastercard has applied for blockchain patents before. In August of 2017, ETHNews reported that it was exploring the feasibility of using cryptocurrency for refunds. In June of this year, it applied for a patent to develop an anonymous blockchain transaction system, and just a few weeks later, it submitted another patent application, this one for payment processing.