TRON Whitepaper, Plagiarized?
TRON (TRX), which had entered the ranks of the top 10 cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms, has recently been accused of plagiarizing its whitepaper. It has been reported that crypto-enthusiasts noticed many parts of the TRON whitepaper looked identical to that of IPFS and Filecoin’s documentation. For those who might be unaware, IPFS stands for InterPlanetary File System which is a “peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol” that aims to store content in a distributed fashion over the internet. The company strives to make this content faster to access and open to everyone.
Statement from IPFS
Juan Benet, who works with IFPS, tweeted, “Wow! Absurd! TRON’s ‘paper’ is mostly copied from other projects, or is super basic p2p passed off as original. Zero references”. These accusations are not unreasonable considering that the Bitswap strategy outlined in the TRON whitepaper is almost identical to that of IPFS. The wording that describes the strategy has been changed around sloppily, but it’s done in a manner that makes it blatantly obvious that it was simply copied. Furthermore, the equations and formulas are exactly the same.
That’s Not All
The hardcore supporters of TRON say accusations that the TRON whitepaper is copied are fake news. In addition to accusations of plagiarism, most people are not sure just how TRX tokens will be supplied. The TRON whitepaper states that there are particular rules which govern the allocation of TRX tokens. But, it’s not clear just how these rules will be applied. Add this to other allegations that the company does not seem to offer any actual product, then we might be talking about a great recipe for a scam.
No References Cited in Whitepaper
Let’s say you liked some ideas and decided to use them yourself, shouldn’t you at least have enough decency, or moreover, the common sense to cite your references? Not the case with this company’s whitepaper. Founder of JoyStream, one of BitTorrent’s clients, tweeted out, “Why does your TRON whitepaper make wholesale copying of IPFS and Filecoin without a single reference?” Since these accusations have surfaced, TRON’s market capitalization has gone down significantly. In fact, it is down nearly 24% (CoinMarketCap).
Quick to Defend Themselves
Justin Sun, founder of TRON and whom many have called the next Jack Ma, was quick to defend himself through a number of tweets via his hyperactive Twitter account. Mr. Sun states that he happens to have a “very detailed reference to the latest Chinese version”. He further adds that the various translations (English, Korean, Japanese, etc) happened to skip a lot of pertinent details. He goes on to offer an apology regarding the documentation.
Furthermore, he mentions that the source code for the TRON platform is quite different from what they had actually planned. So, is he implying that they had planned to plagiarize when they first started out, which seems obvious from the TRON whitepaper, and then they changed their minds? Sounds kind of shady to me.
Whatever the real or actual story might be, the truth will come out sooner or later, so stay tuned!