Crypto venture firm Paradigm has been accused of copying the code for Reth, a new Ethereum client built on smart contract programming language Rust.
After Paradigm CTO Georgios Konstantopoulos announced the release of the new client on Wednesday, sharing details of Paradigm’s open-source code repository, Artem Vorotnikov, creator of another Rust-based Ethereum client Akula, tweeted that Paradigm’s code repo was uncannily similar to Akula’s own.
The controversy follows confusing statements made last month by Ethereum client Erigon, which said it was winding down support for its Akula project after learning that a “nearly identical” implementation would soon be made public.
“We think that the other project will, after it is open sourced, become better supported and more popular, and will very quickly match and overtake Akula in functionality,” said Erigon in a Nov. 24 blog post.
At the time, Vorotnikov tweeted that Akula could “hardly outcompete multibillion VCs who copy-paste our architecture and code.” Although he did not mention the entity by name, market participants quickly interpreted the VC in question to be Paradigm.
The Akula creator went on to share screenshots of Paradigm’s Konstantopoulos asking him several technical questions about Akula’s codebase.
In a tweet on the same day, Konstantopoulos said that Reth is not a fork or rewrite of any other client recommendation. He emphasized that Paradigm’s Ethereum client “does not include code” from any existing client.
“We sponsored the project in the interest of client diversity, so we are sorry to see any other project ceasing development. It is a loss for the space,” tweeted Konstantopoulos.
Some members of the crypto community believe that Paradigm’s voluntary sharing of its code repository makes it clear that Akula’s code was copied.
“It is clear from the repo you open sourced that you both straight up included forked Akula code after tweeting none would be included & there is evidence that the reth team took Akula code and changed function names/added comments, which is basically the same thing,” wrote Ethereum developer Hudson James.
James opined that Paradigm’s presence as a powerhouse within the Ethereum ecosystem is likely the reason why many developers have avoided publicly calling out their actions.
“Although I doubt Paradigm would send an edict to their portfolio companies to keep quiet, it would still be insane to call out someone who is investing in you,” he said.