Facebook parent Meta joins crypto group promoting open patents

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has signed up to a trade body that promotes the free use of innovative technology in the crypto sector, according to an announcement.

By joining the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), Meta has agreed not to enforce its core cryptocurrency patents — except in defense of litigation.

Jack Dorsey’s Block, formerly known as Square, established the organization in September 2020. Its dozens of members include major crypto firms like Coinbase and Kraken.


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In April this year, the body sued nChain’s chief scientist Craig Wright over his efforts to prevent crypto groups from hosting the Bitcoin white paper on their websites.

Meta’s head of licensing and open-source, Shayne O’Reilly, will join COPA’s board, alongside representatives from Coinbase and Block.

“Companies large and small can encourage innovation by collaborating on fundamental infrastructure. This is one step further to advancing COPA’s mission, which is to remove legal obstacles so cryptocurrency can become the backbone for transferring value anywhere in the world,” said Max Sills, IP counsel at Block and general manager of COPA, in a statement.  

Meta’s commitment comes a few weeks after Block’s Dorsey, who recently stepped down as CEO of Twitter, launched a new fund to help defend Bitcoin developers against litigation.

About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.