Crypto-technologies protection wall – Coinbase joins Square’s alliance
Coinbase wants to support COPA in its fight against the aggressive use of patents.
The „Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance“ (COPA), led by the payment service provider Square, has gained the large crypto exchange Coinbase as a new member.
Square had founded the „Alliance for Patent Freedom in the Crypto Industry“ in September in order to establish a defence mechanism for the Bitcoin System crypto industry against the restriction of innovation through patents.
Coinbase legal counsel and COPA board member Brittany Cuthbert announced the alliance in a statement on Friday:
„In an ever-growing crypto-economy, we believe it is important that all projects have the necessary freedom to build an open financial system. […] We look forward to working with the other members of COPA to create a protective wall for basic technologies in our crypto industry“.
A patent often provides the applicant with long-term protection for his innovation, prohibiting competitors from offering similar products and services or from using certain technologies. Since the crypto industry is originally based on a freedom concept, many technologies in the industry are open source, i.e. freely usable.
However, many large companies have now filed patents for their innovations, including for example Block.one and Samsung
In this context the statement explains:
„COPA is convinced that the success of crypto-currencies depends on the crypto-community joining together to build on existing technologies and to create new innovations. However, this will not be possible if some companies make basic technologies inaccessible through patents“.
Although COPA recognises the true purpose of patents, the Alliance warns that they are often misused: „Although patents provide useful protection in many cases, they are often used as offensive attack tools, which poses a massive threat to the growth of burgeoning technologies such as crypto-currencies. We fear that basic crypto-technologies will be hidden by the patents of a few and that innovation and widespread adoption will be stifled as a result“.
Almost 12 years ago, a programmer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto published the white paper that laid the foundation for Bitcoin (BTC). The subsequent „crypto revolution“ was largely due to the fact that the technology behind the market-leading crypto currency is also open source.
„COPA aims to make the basic technologies behind the crypto-currencies freely available to everyone and therefore opposes aggressive patent protection“, as the Communication states accordingly.
COPA now has 18 members, including the crypto companies Square, Coinbase, Blockstream and Kraken. All members undertake to use their crypto-patents only for defensive purposes.