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Vitalik Buterin Continues to Troll Tron over Whitepaper Plagiarism Allegations

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM

April Fool’s Day is over, but Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is not quite finished poking fun at blockchain startup Tron over longstanding plagiarism allegations.

Responding to a post from Tron Founder Justin Sun listing seven reasons why the project — which has still not yet received a mainnet release — is better than Ethereum, Buterin added a reason that Sun neglected to mention: they are more “efficient” at whitepaper writing.

The context for this job extends back to January when, as CCN.com reported, Tron found itself immersed in a plagiarism scandal related to its whitepaper. The English-language version of the document appeared to have relied heavily on other whitepapers — including those drafted by IPFS and Filecoin — but included no citations.

At the time, Sun declined to respond to the accusations directly and suggested that it was the fault of the volunteers who translated it into English from the original Chinese version.

Sun sidestepped the allegations once again during the present exchange, though he thanked Ethereum for inspiring him to create a “better decentralized platform” and invited Buterin to review the Tron source code at the project’s Github repository.

Notably absent, however, was anything resembling either an admission or a denial that Tron plagiarized its whitepaper, though the statement that “we…are more than white paper writing” perhaps betrays the truth of the matter — or at least the fact that Sun would likely wish the whole saga would blow over.

Indeed, this was not the first time this week that Buterin took a jab at Tron over plagiarism allegations.

On Sunday, Buterin deployed several April Fool’s Day pranks, including one not-so-subtle post  on the Ethereum Foundation blog announcing the creation of an “official Ethereum stablecoin” called World Trade Francs.

But though obviously a prank, nearly everyone missed a subtler joke that Buterin had hidden in the post. To wit, a significant portion of it had been copied-and-pasted from Tron’s website.

Featured image from Flickr/TechCrunch.