IBM Secures Patent for ‘Self-Aware Token’ to Record Events of Offline Transactions


Tech giant IBM has been awarded a patent for the development of a “self-aware token” designed to record events of an offline transaction.

A patent document filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes a system, which relates to financial data processing in an electronic currency platform, as well as to processing e-commerce tokens, which have involved offline transactions. To track and record events of offline transactions, the system incorporates a so-called “self-aware token.”

Tracking and validating offline transactions

The document further draws a link between the system and a platform for tracking and validating e-currency tokens IBM described in a patent application back in July 2012. That platform was set to provide a lifetime tracking of a token, real-time transaction support, secure authentication and validation services.

Getting back to the “self-aware token,” the document detailed:

“In the event a user of the platform makes an off-line transaction involving a token from the platform then a system is needed to allow a token to re-appear on-line at a later time and continue to be authenticated, validated, and rated by the platform. It is believed such a system would constitute a significant improvement to the art of financial data processing.”

The impetus behind the invention purportedly lies in the idea that the adoption of new forms of currency will create questions regarding the ability to validate, authenticate and coordinate transactions across diverse forms of payment and trade that traditionally had little or no interaction.

New token standards

Last November, the Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI) unveiled a framework to standardize the construction of tokens. The TTI’s members include major tech, financial, software and blockchain firms like IBM, Microsoft, Intel, ConsenSys, EY, R3 and JPMorgan. 

Microsoft’s blockchain-enabled cloud service Microsoft Azure also announced new tokenization and blockchain data management services. The service aims to simplify the definition, creation and management of compliant tokens built to industry standards.

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