As the world is opening up to the possibilities of blockchain and Bitcoin, several companies are jumping on the opportunity to innovate. California-based financial software company Intuit couldn’t distance itself from the technology for long. In fact, it welcomed Bitcoin with open arms. This has helped in developing a new system of making Bitcoin transactions via text messages, a process that the company recently patented.
US Patent Office Grants Patent
The application for patent was filed on June 13, 2014, at the same time that Intuit launched a PayByCoin feature in its proprietary cloud-based accounting software, QuickBooks Online. The feature is available to all users of the software as a free add-on. Note that several small businesses use QuickBooks to make electronic invoices. With the help of this plugin, users can pay with Bitcoin.
On August 7, 2018, the patent, which was titled “Bitcoin transaction using text message,” was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to Manu Chikkanna, an Intuit employee who was responsible for inventing the system.
The document describes the patent as a method that allows the payment of Bitcoins using SMS. The patent reads:
“The method includes receiving, by a payment service, a payment text message comprising a payment amount and an identifier of a payee mobile device, validating the payment text message based on a payer balance of a virtual payer account maintained by the payment service for the payer, creating, by the payment service and in response to the payment text message, a virtual payee account based on the identifier of the payee mobile device, transferring, in response to creating the virtual payee account, the payment amount from the virtual payer account to the virtual payee account, and sending, by the payment service to the payee mobile device, a notification text message to notify the payee regarding a payee balance of the virtual payee account, wherein the payee balance is determined based at least on the payment amount.”
But the Former CEO Isn’t a Bitcoin Enthusiast
Bill Harris, the former Intuit CEO, isn’t too thrilled with Bitcoin, even though his company allows users to get paid in the cryptocurrency. In fact, he went as far ahead as calling it a “scam” in April this year. Harris, who formerly led PayPal, wrote a scathing blog post, describing everything that he finds off about Bitcoin.
He details his observations claiming that the coin has taken a long journey from being a speculation to being a gamble and finally to being a bubble. He went ahead to call it a large pump and dump scheme that the world has never experienced before. He also said that some cryptocurrencies are nothing but frauds.
He even criticized people who invested in these currencies, saying that these people are greedy, which leads to a humongous wealth transfer from ordinary families to the wealthy Internet promoters. He even said that Bitcoin is suited only for one activity, i.e., criminal activity.