The giant of financial services Mastercard has patented the system for anonymous transactions in the blockchain. This is reported at USPTO website.
As described on the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the transparent nature of ordinary blockchain transactions is an obstacle for the introduction of this technology into everyday payments. This applies to both business and individual consumers.
For example, someone can make a gift to an important person without notifying her or he about the details of the transaction. In addition, most companies are not too interested in that competitors or other third parties obtain real-time data such as, for example, the volume of transactions.
Thus, there is a need for a technical solution whereby an entity may participate in a transaction where transaction details may be posted publicly to ensure accountability and trust in the data, while still providing anonymity and inability of others to track individual transactions or volume information by transaction party identifying information of both parties of a transaction to satisfy the confidentiality needs of each entity involved in the transaction.
Mastercard Patent Filing
Note that a number of crypto-currencies focuses on anonymity of transactions, for example, Monero and Zcash. Also Lightning Network promises to increase the confidentiality of the Bitcoin network .
Mastercard seeks to achieve the same without launching a cryptocurrency, and the company's new patent, although not directly mentioned, may potentially enable law enforcement agencies to track illegal transactions.
While the cryptocurrency is using p2p transactions, the Mastercard system still relies on a third-party server that maintains a users profiles database. Together with the identification data, each profile contains a string of secret data.
After receiving information about the transaction from the company, the server hashes the transaction information, and then combines them with a secret value from the profile. After that, the hash can be published in the blockchain to prove the integrity of the transactions without revealing their its specific details.