While the road to replace traditional financial models with a decentralized counterpart may seem far fetched for many, the crypto-community has done a great job of initiating the crypto-adoption drive. Numerous projects towards this effort have been launched, but DeFi’s (Decentralized Finance) presence stands as the biggest disruptor, with Huobi the latest catalyst for the ecosystem’s growth. In what may come as a surprise for the community, MakerDAO, builders of the DAI token, have trademarked “DeFi” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Based on the above screenshot, the applicant for the trademark is The Maker Ecosystem Growth Foundation (MEGF), which holds a special position within the Maker community and works towards enabling “inclusive and transparent global economy.” While DeFi is a concept that “promotes decentralization,” this finding that links MakerDAO as the “owner” is not being taken well by the community. One such crypto-enthusiast tweeted,
“The @MakerDAO foundation, registered in Cayman Islands, trademarked “defi”.😳😨
DeFi™️ is just one more tech washing buzzword.”
Coming to the specifics, a large part of the crypto-community claim that MakerDAO does not have any rightful claim to monopolize the use of a meme like DeFi. That being said, the community is demanding MakerDAO put the weapon (Intellectual Property) down, withdraw their trademark and apologize to the DeFi community for this attempted enclosure of the “commons.”
On the other hand, MakerDAO’s move to trademark DeFi is speculated to eventually improve DAI’s use-cases and market cap. In this light, DAI advocates are keen about this probability, while reminding the time Coinbase had tried to trademark BUIDL. Interestingly enough, Twitter user, @AnaMackert, pointed out that in addition to DeFi, Ethereum’s trademark was also filed by the same two lawyers, Elizabeth Baio and Colleen Raimond.