Facebook Parent Meta Joins Nonprofit to Make Digital Assets Open Source

Through COPA, Meta pledged to not enforce its core cryptocurrency patents against any individual or company, except for “defensive reasons”

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Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Meta, formerly known as Facebook; Source: Facebook

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key takeaways

  • “Meta joining COPA means crypto is not a niche,” Max Sills, general manager at COPA, told Blockworks. “It’s a technology that will be depended on by every industry”
  • The non-profit community was founded by Block, formerly Square, Inc. and consists of over 30 members, including MicroStrategy, Kraken, Uniswap, Chaincode Labs and OKCoin

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has joined a nonprofit community focused on making digital assets open-source in big tech’s latest move into the crypto ecosystem. 

The social media platform joined the board of the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), which is working to assemble a pool of crypto patents that all members can use in an effort to encourage innovation. 

“Meta joining COPA means crypto is not a niche,” Max Sills, general manager at COPA and counsel at Square, told Blockworks. “It’s a technology that will be depended on by every industry.”

Through COPA, Meta pledged to not enforce its core cryptocurrency patents against any individual or company, except for “defensive reasons.” This effectively makes its patents freely available for all to use. 

Some of those patents include Meta’s technology that enables the creation, mining, storage, transmission, settlement, integrity or security of cryptocurrencies, Sills said. 

The non-profit community was founded by Block, formerly Square, Inc., and consists of over 30 members, including MicroStrategy, Kraken, Uniswap, Chaincode Labs and OKCoin.

Meta representative Shayne O’Reilly, who manages the company’s licensing and transaction group, will join board members from Block and Coinbase. It’s not known who the representative for both companies is. 

Overtime, the board will be governed by a board of nine members: three members from crypto companies and six members from other companies.

COPA is a cross-industry effort with a mission of uniting large technology companies like Meta, with financial services organizations, government agencies, crypto-native companies and others to protect crypto innovation.

“Crypto technologies are a public commons that eventually everyone in the world will depend on for transacting value,” Sills said. “Protecting that commons is paramount to its development.” 

Here’s how it works: members pool their crypto patents together to form what the organization calls a “shared patent library.” Any member is then free to use the technology behind a patent. 

Over the next 12 months, COPA will continue to outreach to big tech, banks and payments companies, Sills said.

“COPA’s goals over time are to double down on minimizing [intellectual property] risk in cryptocurrency, and create more patent protection for our members,” Sills said. 


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