Business 7 December 2018

Dan Taylor

‘BUIDL, not HODL’: Coinbase files curious trademark

In the race to tie up intellectual property (IP) around cryptocurrency, some ideas have definitely been stronger than others. The latest to come from market leading wallet and exchange service Coinbase has certainly raised a few eyebrows—a trademark request for the word ‘buidl.’ And nobody knows for sure what it means.

The California-based unicorn already holds a number of trademarks, as well as having secured numerous patents around the crypto and blockchain space.

In what has been described as “a random move,” their latest application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covers ‘buidl’ in connection with “software as a service (SAAS) services featuring software for transactions using virtual currency, namely, software for managing, buying, selling, storing, transacting, exchanging, sending and receiving virtual currency.”

The application continues to describe how the term could be used in the “temporary use of non-downloadable computer software for use in accessing, reading, tracking, trading and using tokens via blockchain technology.”

While little information available beyond the application documents, it’s hard to say with certainty what’s going on. However, it appears as if Coinbase may be working on cloud-based tools for transacting in cryptocurrency, which would be an interesting proposition – though no other details about the project have been made public.

The similarity to ‘HODL’ has also been widely noted, with some analysts suggesting it shows Coinbase has a sense of humour (referring to the somewhat ironic meme in BTC communities of stoically holding the BTC coin in the belief the market will always continue to rise).

The phrase ‘BUIDL, not HODL’ has been used previously, with references dating to 2015, as a mantra for encouraging the development of real-world use cases for blockchain and crypto, instead of merely hoarding assets for speculative value.

However inspired, the trademark applications gives some clues as to where Coinbase might be heading next. With the application filed in October, it is possible plans for the name are already at an advanced stage.

The perhaps more recognisable word ‘HODL’ was subject to a similar trademark request by a firm called Flashratings Inc., although this appears to have been suspended in November.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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