It has emerged that Chase amended a US patent application to cover an anonymous e-payment system in 2003, long before the rise of Bitcoin.
According to the patent application, last updated in August 2013, Chase’s system would allow users to make free, anonymous, online payments.
An addition to a pre-existing application, first filed in 2000, described the system as follows: "A computer-implemented method of providing an anonymous payment from a mobile device to a payee device to enable an electronic payment between a payer and a payee without provision of an account number or name from the payer."
Chase also wrote that the system is intended to compete with and eventually supersede credit and debit card payments as the dominant method of paying for online purchases.
In the most recent amendments to the application the bank made reference to new entrants into the payments market.
It wrote: "While new internet payment mechanisms have been rapidly emerging, consumers and merchants have been happily conducting a growing volume of commerce using basic credit card functionality.
"None of the emerging efforts to date have gotten more than a toehold in the market place and momentum continues to build in favour of credit cards."
Chase declined to comment on whether the system, if ever implemented, would be rolled out internationally or only in the US.