The US Patent and trademark Office (USPTO) on October 9 issued Mastercard a patent for its multi-blockchain invention applied in 2016. The technology involves partitioning blockchain that it can accommodate multiple transaction types and format.

Why is Mastercard’s multiple-Blockchain unique

Currently, different blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum use different blocks to keep their transactions. Bitcoin for example, uses a dfferent block to store its data compared to Ethereum and other blockchains.

Companies intending to transact in multiple cryptocurrencies or rather leverage on blockchain technology to store data are forced to use multiple blockchains to facilitate these functions. This is because at the moment the current system dictates that transaction records need “to be of the same format and include the same types, and sometimes even sizes, of data.” The different blockchains for different transactions also come at a cost.

Mastercard’s solution addresses blockchain’s rigidity when it comes to data formatting that often denies utilization of permission on permissioned blockchains.


Mastercard is seeking to create more uses for blockchain by bypassing the limitations in the traditional blockchain technology. With its newly patented model, blocks will “receive data from a ‘plurality of subnets.’ This is not the case with the conventional blockchain technology.

The system’s proposed partitions on traditional blockchain to facilitate multiple transactions on a single blockchain are called subnets. The system will have a maximum of three subnets with each subnet embedded with “rules about data in a transaction record, the organization of the data, the size of each data value, and the hashing algorithms used in the formulation of the subnet’s merkle root.”

Subnets will bypass traditional data formats by computing data from an array of devices and adding to itself different sizes and types of data.

Mastercard is listed third after Alibaba and IBM in the competitive ‘patent war.’ The company has about 80 patents to its name with two being in the blockchain technology. The first one was about a quick payment system powered by ‘recorded quarantees’.it was approved in 2017. Since then, mastercard has applied for a couple of other blockchain-related patents targeting B2B transactions, another on DLT among several others.