By CCN Markets: Blockchain company Hedera took an ad out in this morning’s Wall Street Journal thanking Facebook for flattering them with their copycat governance model. The ad reads: “Thank you Facebook Libra. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Facebook: Stealing Logos and Governance…
The ad reads:
“Thank you Facebook Libra. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
The move brings to mind Apple’s 1981 Wall Street Journal jab at IBM:
It then features a classic Facebook “thumbs-up” like symbol.
Hedera is a company built on the Hashgraph distributed ledger technology – the relationship is similar to Charles Hoskinson’s IOHK and Cardano. Interested readers can sign up for a testnet wallet and earn free Hedera crypto.
Hedera’s Leemon Baird told CCN that about a year ago, just before Hedera went public with their plans, the company had a meeting with Facebook executives. At the time, says Baird, Facebook wasn’t very open about what they were looking to do. Hedera told them all about their product, hoping to get Facebook on as a client potentially. Baird said:
“Honestly, I don’t view this as a literal plagiarism. But I do think that they have recognized that this council that we created was a good idea. Although theirs may have some slight differences, I think when we started this, people were saying, ‘that’s crazy, you can’t have a council.’ And now I think people are going to realize, no, you really need one. You need to trust not just a handful of developers to run this thing. You need to have huge companies that compete with each other, that are able to balance each other, spread around the world, that’s what you really need to have trust in something.”
Baird, a former computer science professor at the Air Force Academy, invented Hashgraph as an alternative to other blockchain designs. After its invention, he and others including Mance Harmon, founded Hedera to work on it.
One of their first novel ideas was the establishment of a “council” of companies around the world, including a Japanese bank, Europe’s largest telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom (parent of T-Mobile), and more. At present, the council has 18 members globally.
Hedera executives believe that Facebook potentially hijacked their idea for a council of trusted companies to operate a blockchain, but Baird is clear that the company probably hasn’t broken the law in any way. Hedera hoped to strike a partnership with Facebook, and build their crypto project on a finished product.
“It was just a very preliminary meeting. We told them what we were doing. And they just listened to what we were planning to do. It was shortly before we announced to the world, so they got a little bit of scoops on it. We did not have a long series of talks where we got down to the sort of relationship we could have.”
Baird says the company is ready to back up their claims. About a year ago, the company had a meeting with Facebook executives. During that meeting, they told Facebook all about how their open platform works.
Now, a vital feature of the platform, its governance model in the form of a council of trusted companies, magically appears in Facebook’s Libra design.
Facebook has also been accused of stealing its Libra logo, although the credit for that theft belongs more to the creative agency responsible for its design.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
Last modified: January 11, 2020 1:39 AM UTC