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Square launches cryptocurrency patent alliance to fight the trolls

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Square, the U.S.-based financial services company headed by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is establishing a consortium to fight patent trolling and ensure open access to technology in the crypto sector.

The ‘Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance’ (COPA) seeks to democratize access to innovative technologies in the crypto sector, asserting that “open access to patents covering foundational cryptocurrency technologies is necessary for the community to grow, freely innovate, and build new and better products.”

Members of the alliance will agree to pool crypto and blockchain patents into COPA’s library, ensuring open access to technologies developed by participating firms. The alliance website says:

“Cryptocurrency technology and its adoption is still at a nascent stage. We believe that cryptocurrency’s success depends on the community coming together to build and develop upon existing technologies to innovate, which is not possible when parties tie up foundational technology in patents and litigation.”

The alliance hopes to “transform the way patents are viewed and used in the crypto world,” emphasizing the opportunity for patents to be employed to advance innovation in the sector, rather than to hinder the industry’s development.

As of April 17 2020, Alibaba Group held the most blockchain patents with 2,344. It filed for 470 patents in 2019. Tencent is looking to accelerate its patent hoarding with 718 filings last year.

Controversial self-proclaimed ‘Satoshi’ Craig Wight, is frequently accused of being a patent troll for his efforts, and his company nChain’s efforts, to secure hundreds of blockchain patents.

While more than 5,800 applications for patent blockchain patents were filed last year, only 3% were granted during 2019.

Similar efforts to create a “collective shield” against “patent aggressors” have been undertaken in the music industry, with programmers and musicians Damien Riehl and Noah Rubin developing software to generate nearly every possible melody in defiance of the controversial music litigation industry earlier this year.

In March, Katy Perry successfully had a ruling reversed concerning a lawsuit filed by Christian rapper, Flame, that sought $2.8 million for Perry’s use of 8-bit musical timbre in the song Dark Horse which Flame claimed had been stolen from his song Joyful Noise.

In 1993, former Creedence Clearwater Revival singer John Fogerty was sued by the owner of Fantasy Records for allegedly ripping off a song that he had written 23 year prior, that the record label had come to own the rights to.





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FTX wallet adds support for BUSD and BNB tokens on the Binance Smart Chain

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In what seems like an ongoing streak towards market penetration, prominent crypto exchange FTX has launched support for BSC BEP20 tokens within its wallet services. While no official announcement was made, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried confirmed the development by saying:

“ftx.com/wallet now supports BSC for BUSD and BNB! (Withdrawals are live — I *think* deposits are; otherwise they will be very soon.)”

Based on the information available, FTX wallets now actively support withdrawals for Binance USD (BUSD) and BNB, both native to the Binance Chain. The company will soon enable users to make deposits via BSC BEP20 tokens. 

However, the services are not yet available for the US-focused FTX platform, FTX.US and other prohibited jurisdictions. In a previous interview, Bankman-Fried opined that governments would require more than three to five years to provide regulatory clarity for crypto businesses that wish to operate within their jurisdictions. The entrepreneur also reportedly spends “five hours a day on everything from regulation to licensing.”

Recently, the company has also limited its users to leverage trades up to 20x instead of offering 101x leverage. The intention behind this move was to minimize the inherent volatility risks associated with crypto trading. Surprisingly, the exchange has not witnessed a reduction in trading volumes following the announcement.

Related: FTX smashes crypto funding record with $900M raise to become exchange decacorn

Complimenting the crypto exchange’s technological developments, FTX’s latest Series B investment round saw over 60 participants. The resultant deal placed FTX’s valuation to a whopping $18 billion, a 1400% increase from previously $1.2 billion.

Other market leaders such as Binance also follow similar methods to promote low-risk trading and increase market adoption. Crediting this move to the “interest of Consumer Protection,” Binance CEO stated that limiting new users to 20x leverage on futures trades was something “he didn’t want to make a thingy.”