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Alex Lipton, MIT: Facebook plagiarised Libra
Alex Lipton, MIT: Facebook plagiarised Libra
Blockchain

Alex Lipton, MIT: Facebook plagiarised Libra

By Stefano Cavalli - 26 Jul 2019

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Alex Lipton, a prominent figure at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) claims that Facebook has deliberately drawn inspiration from a paper he published in 2018 entitledDigital trade coin: towards a more stable digital currency for the development and creation of Libra.

By showing some examples, Lipton pointed out that Facebook’s cryptocurrency maintains its value due to the fact that it is anchored to a basket of fiat currencies. Alex Lipton, Thomas Hardjono and Alex “Sandy” Pentland explain how this digital token works in a document published on the Royal Society website.

In their initial proposal, the use case of this token and the activities that would have affected it were mostly related to raw materials, such as oil.

“I can tell you that the actual structure of Libra is pretty much lifted verbatim from the paper which Sandy Pentland and Thomas Hardjono and I published last year”.

Continuing the discussion, the Libra Association, a group of 27 companies involved in the Facebook project, is very similar to the Tradecoin consortium mentioned explicitly in the paper. Both cryptocurrencies aim to simplify the traditional payment methods in force today.

All these ideas, which are contained in the Royal Society paper, had already appeared in an earlier version, again by Lipton in collaboration with Pentland, which was the front cover of a scientific journal: Scientific American.

“The Libra people cannot really say that they have not read that. Or, if they have not read that, they shouldn’t be probably doing what they are doing in the first place.”  

According to the MIT researcher, who clearly showed a certain annoyance, the work of all the researchers who collaborated in the creation of the paper has gone up in smoke, it was not mentioned at all in the Libra whitepaper.

This is certainly not the first episode in which someone accuses Facebook of having copied an idea, a logo, or something else, nor will it be the last.

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