A new whitepaper has been published for the Petro coin, which is making news as the first national cryptocurrency. While this is a pivotal moment for the industry, there are questions as to how they developed the whitepaper.
One Ethereum developer believes that they lack the original work, saying that their content is simply a copy of Dash’s repository on GitHub.
Joey Zhou, the developer, posted to Twitter upon finding this discovery, saying,
“Lol Venezuela's new Petro token is a blatant Dash clone (at least the whitepaper, page 11).”
— Joey Zhou (@josephzhou) October 2, 2018
He included the link the post as well to show his followers exactly what he means. Upon reading, it is hard to ignore the incredible similarities between the two sides.
For anyone familiar with the Dash altcoin, they know its main features – instant sending, masternodes, the X11 mining algorithm, etc. These are some of the features that it seems that the Venezuelan government decided to include in their own whitepaper.
Though some credit the similarities to simply being a coincidence, it is clear that their information seems practically copied word-for-word, apart from the language difference. For example, Petro starts by assigning 85% of the rewards to “Nodos Maestros,” which translates to “master nodes.” They also include a consensus algorithm that combines Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake, just like Dash.
Venezuela has an entity, though self-proclaimed, that watches over the cryptocurrency related issues, which is called Sunacrip. Sunacrip repeatedly comes up in the Petro whitepaper. In fact, it seems that they’re provided with a lot of power, even though Petro claims to be run by masternodes. One of those privileges is that Sunacrip can change the consensus, but the whitepaper insists that the masternodes will still “make decisions in the network and support transactions carried out by themselves.”
The call on whether the whitepaper is plagiarized or just a friendly imitation of protocols that the Petro wanted to use is more of a judgement call by whoever reads the whitepaper. However, Zhou still believes that the actions are “blatant.”
It would make sense if it was truly plagiarism, possibly due to how the cryptocurrency’s price went up when Venezuelan’s flocked to it to avoid the hyperinflation. In fact, the gravitation towards this cryptocurrency made it the second-largest market for Dash.
Still, it’s hard to ignore. With everything that consumers know about the priorities of Dash, the “most important factors” to Petro sound rather familiar.
Those qualities include “the instantaneous sending (less than five seconds) of the transactions, which represents an innovative advance with a significant impact compared to existing cryptocurrencies.”
All that is really missing here is the direct mention of Dash’s name.