PayPal patent apps signal an interest in layer-2s, NFTs

Four patent applications were published since Sept. 21, suggesting that PayPal is taking a close look at distributed ledger tech


BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Blockchain validation. Payments between different network layers. Digital asset recommendations in the metaverse. 

These are some of the areas PayPal’s research and development efforts appear focused on, according to a slate of recently published patent applications.

The most recent application, published Thursday and originally filed in March 2022, delves into the details of how validators or miners should be selected during the process of adding transactions to the blockchain. The document states that the company’s disclosed techniques could “advantageously allow steering of blockchain requests to a desired subset of miners/validators.”

Three other patent applications, released on Sept. 21, were also filed in March 2022.

One offered up supposedly new “methods and systems” to enable off-chain transactions through NFT marketplaces. 

Another mentions the concept of a so-called omniverse, which in this context suggests a product that deals in multiple metaverses. PayPal says it developed an “online transaction processor” that would provide recommendations for which digital assets a user should buy based on the user’s blockchain preferences and which metaverses they interact with most. 

A third describes another conceptual online transaction processor. This processor’s goal is to facilitate payments between users and merchants operating on different network layers (layer-1s and layer-2s) in a more efficient manner. 

The applications, in sum, offer a window into PayPal’s thinking as it builds out its suite of crypto products and services. 

For instance, with PayPal releasing a stablecoin in August, these proposed provide a window into the direction of PayPal’s use of the technology for payments. Venmo, the firm’s popular payment app that enabled crypto transfers in May.

PayPal did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment.

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