BNB Chain hackathon winner accuses Binance of stealing AI-powered NFTs idea

Crypto exchange Binance has been accused of “blatantly” copying the winner of the BNB Chain hackathon after launching Bicasso — an AI-based nonfungible token (NFT) creation tool. Binance allegedly ripped off a tool created by Chatcasso just two months after awarding them first prize in a BNB Chain hackathon held in Seoul between Dec. 17 to 19, 2022.

On March 1, Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao announced the launch of Bicasso, an artificial intelligence (AI) product that can be used to “turn your creative visions into NFTs with AI.” However, community member ggoma believes Binance copied his project Chatcasso and shipped it as their own offering.

Binance, on the other hand, dismissed the accusations of stealing. Speaking to Cointelegraph, a Binance spokesperson said that Bicasso is an experimental project built by a small team at Binance as a test and that NFTs and AI are common concepts being worked on by many industry players.

Chatcasso won the first prize in the BNB Chain hackathon for creating an AI-powered tool for creating NFTs and won $5,000 in Binance USD (BUSD).

Chatcasso won first prize in BNB Chain hackathon, Seoul, Dec. 2022. Source: Twitter

However, ggoma was shocked to see Binance lauch a similar platform within a span of two months, as he stated:

“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.”

In addition, ggoma shared screenshots of the two projects in an attempt to showcase the similarities between the user interface and capabilities.

Screenshots showing similarities between Chatcasso and Bicasso platforms. Source: Twitter

Binance, however, maintains that the similarities does not imply theft of ideas. The exchange’s spokesperson told Cointelegraph:

“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.”

Moreover, Binance and BNB Chain operate separately and the Binance development team are not involved in BNB Chain hackathons, said the crypto exchange. On the other hand, ggoma showed displeasure with the similar names of the two platforms in question:

“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.”

Binance clarified to Cointelegraph that the name Bicasso was derived following inspiration from the OpenAI tool ‘Dall-E,’ which is a reference to the artist Dali, adding that “Our team loved this concept.”

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The entire episode made ggoma skeptical of entering hackathons in the future as he wondered if his ideas would be rebranded by a market leader at a later stage. “We hope that Binance realizes the impact of their actions and takes steps to right their wrongs,” ggoma added while warning builders that “there are companies out there who will try to take advantage of your hard work.”

Binance’s Bicasso became an instant hit among NFT investors as the AI-powered NFT generator recorded 10,000 mints in 2.5 hours.

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CZ recently warned investors that a photoshopped image with misinformation was being circulated on WeChat, a social media platform in China.

CZ further highlighted the importance of dismissing fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) and advised investors to ignore false allegations that crop up from time to time.