Plagiarism Dispute Erupts Between Crypto Company Matter Labs and Polygon Developers

Open-Source Code Sharing and Attribution

In blockchain initiatives, it’s common for these projects to share their code through open-source software licenses. This grants external developers the freedom to peruse, replicate, and sometimes even enhance the code as they see fit. Yet, customary practices within the community, alongside most open-source licenses, typically mandate that independent developers give credit whenever they integrate code sourced from elsewhere.

Polygon Accuses Matter Labs Of Code Replication, Unattributed Usage

In a recent blog post, Polygon brought forward allegations regarding Matter Labs’ new proving system named “Boojum.” Polygon asserts that portions of source code employed in Boojum have been directly copied from Polygon’s proprietary “Plonky2” software library. The contention put forth by Polygon Zero emphasizes that the copied code lacks original copyrights and proper acknowledgment of the initial creators. It also highlights remarkable resemblances between Boojum and Plonky2’s library in terms of strategies such as parallel repetition for enhanced soundness in a confined field, utilization of similar custom gates for efficient recursive verification arithmetization, and deployment of the identical lookup argument conceived by their team member Ulrich Haböck.

Furthermore, Polygon’s blog post presents additional instances where Matter Labs incorporated Polygon’s code without proper recognition. Polygon has also drawn attention to Matter Labs’ assertion that Boojum boasts a speed advantage of 10 times over Plonky2. Polygon queries the basis for this swifter performance, raising the question of how such a significant speed enhancement is possible when the core field arithmetic code, pivotal for performance, appears to have been directly copied from Plonky2.

Matter Labs Responds To Polygon’s Assertions

In light of the allegations by Polygon, Matter Labs has taken steps to address the concerns surrounding its Boojum proof system. The company clarified that a mere 5% of the Boojum code draws inspiration from Plonky2, and this source is explicitly acknowledged right at the outset of its codebase. CEO Alex Gluchowski took to Twitter to comprehensively respond to the situation. Expressing his disappointment with Polygon’s allegations, Gluchowski reaffirmed that a mere 5% of the Boojum codebase is based on Plonky2’s code. He underscored that Boojum and Plonky2 embody implementations of the Redshift concept, which he maintained was introduced by Matter Labs three years before Polygon publicized the Plonky2 paper.

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