Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square, which first ventured into crypto in 2018, is now inviting cryptocurrency firms to join its Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to ensure the industry remains open-source. Dorsey wrote,
“Square is putting all of our crypto patents into a new non-profit org we’re calling the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, which will maintain a shared patent library to help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls. Join us!”
On Thursday, the announcement was made, and COPA was launched. In its “fight to keep bitcoin and crypto free and open,” the new initiative is introduced, which ensures new ideas don’t get tied up by patent litigation.
Free to Pursue Crypto’s Future
To tackle the concern of “patent lockup” stifling innovation and adoption, Square asked the crypto community to do “what it is so famous for and come together for the greater good.” The official website reads,
“We believe there needs to be a global native currency for the internet,” and everyone should be able to “participate in cryptocurrencies and have access to its underlying innovation.”
A separate entity from Square, COPA, has a two-prong approach, including a pledge that no member asserts their patents on foundational crypto technology ever except defensively, and creating a shared patent library where members pool their crypto patents and allow each other to use them. Square Crypto said,
“As more companies join and the shared patent library grows, the freer we’ll all be to pursue crypto’s future.”
In the US, the number of blockchain and crypto-related patents already doubled between 2016 to 2017. Even Microsoft filed a patent last year for a mining system powered by human activity.
The Native Currency of Internet but “Intuitive”
Dorsey is known for his bitcoin support, who believes it could be the “native currency of the Internet.”
In an interview with Reuters this week, Dorsey re-emphasized on it, saying, like the internet, bitcoin is consensus-driven. He said,
“I think the internet warrants a […] native currency and […] Bitcoin is probably the best manifestation of that thus far. I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and build it for that potential.”
But for the leading digital asset to interact with money and change the way most people think of it, it must be “intuitive.”
The main main point here is that bitcoin is expensive to use and that people must understand why they use it and access it in a way that is similar to dealing with cash. Dorsey said,
“We have to build the coin in such a way that it is as intuitive as fast and as efficient as what exists today and obviously goes beyond that.”