Developers accuse Binance of stealing their hackathon idea after Binance launches similar AI NFT product

Tweet by BNB Chain: "The grand prize winners of our third track, Lifestyle in #Web3, is the wonderful team Chatcasso 🥇

Chatcasso is a guided platform that allows users to easily and conveniently mint NFTs using only text input through the use of AI technology.

[9/11]"Tweet by BNB chain in January 2023 announcing the hackathon winner (attribution)
If you're thinking about entering into a BNB Chain hackathon, you might want to think again. On March 1, Binance announced a new "Bitcasso" product: a tool for users to create NFTs via AI image-generation.

Shortly after its launch, a group of developers accused Binance of stealing an idea they had presented at a December 2022 BNB Chain hackathon. Those developers had been awarded first place and $5,000 for "Chatcasso", a nearly identical tool.

Binance has refuted the allegations of theft, with a spokesperson acknowledging the "similarities" but claiming that "Bicasso was designed and developed independently more than two weeks before the BNB hackathon".

"It's disheartening to see a company that claims to support innovation and development steal from the very people who are working hard to build the ecosystem. Who would feel safe entering a hackathon? I don't." wrote one of the developers from the team. The developer also stated that they had not signed any contracts that would have assigned the rights to their work to the company, as is the case in some hackathons.