• P Xenos and M Bacina

IBM secures patent for ‘Self-Aware Token’, is definitely not building Skynet


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


The patent has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and sets out a process involving the use of financial data in an electronic currency network with e-commerce tokens but involving offline transactions. The device integrates a so-called “self-aware token” to track and document instances of offline transactions.


The patent describes the use of the token as follows:

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 patent document also describes connecting a device to a network for monitoring and validating IBM e-currency tokens, tying back to an earlier patent application from July 2012. That platform was set up to provide the token with real-time transaction support, secure authentication and validation services for lifetime monitoring.


There are intriguing possibilities to a "self-aware token" to help bridge the purely crypto world and the real assets which underpin almost all financial products available in the markets today. There is no question that being able to better verify, authenticate and organize transactions via different forms of payment and exchange that have historically had little or no contact would be a significant improvement if it can be executed properly, and potentially have serious implications for legal work.


IBM has a real head start on a lot of others in their blockchain adoption and progress, and so it's only a matter of time before this self-aware token will be back (in the news)

© Michael Bacina. All rights reserved

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