Cryptocurrencies

Amazon Considers Anonymous Payments System

There's money in fending off prying eyes

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Amazon may be cooking up its own anonymous mobile payments system.

Published yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Amazon patent application appropriately dubbed "Anonymous mobile payments" describes a system that would let mobile users pay for items without having to reveal their name, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal details to the seller.

The invention follows in the footsteps of other mobile payment systems. However, Amazon takes it a few steps further.

Beyond shielding the personal information of the buyer, Amazon's system would use a special code, or temporary identifier, to conduct the mobile transaction anonymously. Such a code would be passed between the buyer and the seller with Amazon acting as the middleman so that no personal details are exchanged. A single code could also have an expiration date and be used multiple times.