After launching Bicasso, an AI-based nonfungible token (NFT) generator, Binance was accused of “blatantly copying” the winner of the BNB Chain Hackathon. Two months after Chatcasso won the first prize at the BNB Chain hackathon in Seoul in 2022, Binance is accused of stealing a Chatcasso tool.
Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, announced the launch of Bicasso on March 1. This artificial intelligence (AI) product can be used “turn your creative ideas into NFTs using AI. But, a community member, “ggoma,” believes Binance copied the Chatcasso project and promoted it as its own.
Binance, however, denied the allegations of stealing. A spokesperson for Binance said that Bicasso was an experimental project created by a small group at Binance to test the waters. NFTs, as well as AI, are concepts many industry professionals have worked on.
Chatcasso was awarded the first prize at the BNB Chain Hackathon for his AI-powered tool to create NFTs. They received $5,000 in Binance USD.
However, ggoma was stunned to see Binance launch a comparable platform in just two months. He said, “A big company like Binance copying everything down to the name? It’s not only unethical, but it’s also confusing for users. The names are so similar that it’s hard to tell them apart.”
ggoma also shared screenshots from the two projects to show the similarities between the user interfaces and their capabilities.
Binance insists that these similarities are not indicative of theft of ideas. A spokesperson for the exchange told reporters:
“Despite the similarities, after conducting an internal review, we’re confident that Bicasso was designed and developed independently more than two weeks before the BNB hackathon.”
The spokesperson also stated that Binance and BNB Chain are separate entities and that the Binance development team does not participate in BNB Chain hackathons.
The episode made ggoma skeptical about participating in future hackathons. He wondered if a market leader would rebrand new ideas at a later stage. Binance must realize the consequences of their actions and take steps to correct them, ggoma said while warning builders that many companies will profit from your hard work.