Plagiarism, Fork or Simple Mistake? Shiba Inu Community Debates the Origin Story of Shibarium

SHIB is down 8% and millions have been unstaked over allegations that the Shibarium code was stolen.

AccessTimeIconMar 16, 2023 at 7:20 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 16, 2023 at 4:24 p.m. UTC
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What’s in a number?

For the community around the SHIB token and Shibarium blockchain, it’s the difference between code that has been plagarized and open-source code that’s been recycled.

The drama began Thursday Asia time where an established member of its Discord pointed to the Shibarium chain using the same Chain ID number, 917, as the Rinia Testnet chain.

While Discord members were quick to generate their own explanations for the similarity, with some panic-selling the token, pushing it down 10%, the explanation from developers behind the Shibarium chain is something far more benign.

“Few chain IDs were picked randomly - 417(Alpha), 517(Staging), 917(pre-pod/beta) and these chains were not registered anywhere at that time, I made a mistake to not recheck when the puppynet network was launched,” tweeted Kaaldhairya, one of the pseudonymous developers.

Kaaldhairya tweeted that they were going to be “redeploying a new version of BETA network with a new chain ID.”

“Fresh deployments will be rare in the future but are possible because we will still be in BETA phase,” he continued.

Others pointed to similarities in code found on Github, a code repository.

Coders often re-use each others’ work for mundane and benign tasks. These pre-written blocks are known are libraries, and are available as open-source code. That is, code that’s intended to be copied and reused.

Andrew Angrisani, a member of the project’s Telegram community as well as its Discord, and a crypto security engineer, explained the code similarities to both Rinia and Shibarium using the same open-source code.

“Both Rinia TestNet and Shibarium copied open-source code for their block explorers called Blockscout and likely both were lazy in their implementation,” he said.

Another high-ranking community member, JesusM, called this all a “minor mistake made on beta.” JesusM said that this is the point of the beta process.

“Mistakes in it get tested and then fixed,” they said.

Angrisani speculated that part of this could be a ploy to drum up free marketing for Rinia and an upcoming project.

“The Rinia Testnet chain Dev is launching an [initial coin offering] for Firechain called a Shib Killer on March 31. They could be using this mud in the water to drum up free marketing since the ChainIDs were the same,” he said. “It may be an artifact of copying source code from an open-source project.”

This is also not the first time accusations have flown around. In February, questions on the Discord were being raised about similarities between Shibarium and Rinia.

“At the end of the day, Shibarium is likely still far off, Open Source code is being used (which is okay – other projects do it), Unification Fund is still working on Shibarium, and the Firechain/Rinia dev is using this to market their upcoming ICO,” Angrisani concluded.

While the SHIB token has regained some of its losses since the initial selloff, it’s still down 8% on the day.

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