Financial services giant Mastercard has recently filed a patent teaching a method of distributing blockchain mining tasks and fees based on a mining center's history of recycling. Recycling can include glass, paper, and plastic — typical waste products in an office setting — as well as electronics components or a reduction in carbon emissions. Bitcoin mining is a resource-intensive process, especially in terms of energy consumption as a result of the computing power and cooling systems needed for effective mining setups. One study found that yearly carbon emissions as a result of Bitcoin mining are similar to those of the country of Jordan. This new patent application describes a system wherein mining centers bid for the opportunity to mine new blocks. The decision of who will receive the block is made by a weighted formula that includes a center's recycling habits and overall environmental impact, thus incentivizing better practices in a growing industry.
With 76 documents, Mastercard is one of the leaders in the Cryptocurrency sector after IBM, Alibaba, and Bank of America. The company's patent portfolio covers blockchain technology in many areas ranging from payment architecture to network management. Most patents in mining focus on hardware or infrastructure; this application is Mastercard's first in that subcategory and unique in its coverage of a system for distributing mining tasks. It remains to be seen how effectively this technology can be implemented in the decentralized world of Bitcoin mining. You can view other mining technologies and cryptocurrency patent documents on the Magic Number® Patent Radian®.