RGB developers have said a couple of words about Taro, the new protocol from Lighting Labs, plagiarizing the RGB protocol without giving them any credit. Their messages are quite obscure, and as an outsider it's hard to judge how much is actually plagiarized and how the respond.

It seems that most people are quiet on the topic - likely because they don't know about it or don't understand enough.

Posting here to get more eyeballs on the issue, and also if someone knows enough about these protocols to get a confirmation about the allegations.

RGB developers have worked years on the protocol. Lightning Labs and their developers will lose all my respect if these allegations are true.

See: https://twitter.com/dr_orlovsky/status/1513555717218873355

10 sats \ 2 replies \ @k00b 12 Apr

I'm pretty sure it's not a copy and paste. They are conceptually similar afaik because doing this kind of thing on Bitcoin has only so many paths to being accomplished. Afaik Taro uses Tapscript to do a few more things than RGB did.

Plagiarized seems like an overstatement. At most it was influenced. But tbh I don't know enough about either to tell you.

This 👆

Different solution to the same concept

It appears they’re largely the same… https://twitter.com/somsenruben/status/1513663748283719688?s=21&t=KZidHUSqA1INililtUsWSQ

Which I find surprising because I didn’t think Taro cared at all about privacy whereas RGB advertised it quite a bit.

Afaik Diba is the only product using RGB today though and I’m not sure if it is out of beta yet.

I tried to listen to Roast Beef but he talks so damn fast, its hard to process but I do think they took elements of RGB nothing wrong with that, its open-source game, and its still early to tell, people are still reviewing those BIPs LL put forward, im sure someone will give an account of how much RGB work is in there

In the end its all about shipping product

Always have to set playback speed to 0.75 when listening to him on YouTube!

11 sats \ 0 replies \ @nout 12 Apr

I don't have a great understanding either, but here are couple high level thoughts and questions I have:

  • on bitcoin-dev roasbeef mentioned that he tried asking questions to the RGB and he never got any good replies or interest
  • I tried reading through RGB documentation multiple times and it was really hard to parse and understand. Lightning Labs is much better documented, clearly defined concepts, it links to background on the underlying cryptography and it's easier to comprehend. So that's a win. If they used RGB as a baseline for this, then yep they are assholes for not referencing it, but there's also some chance that it was thought out separately.
    • did RGB team do the work to try to standardize the approach with BIPs, etc?
    • if Taro is indeed the same and gets standardized, is RGB team going to be upset? Why?
  • I didn't see any code "copied", so are we talking about the protocol and cryptographic ideas being the same?
    • Is RGB also using the same sparse merkle tree with sum of numbers solution (to prevent printing more tokens and prove "non-ownership", i.e. I gave the token to you)?
    • I wonder if RGB also has the properties advertised by Taro, like the fact that middle LN nodes don't need to support Taro, but can still route?

I don't know the details of Taro yet, but looking at the image below, this appears to turn each node operator with differing assets on their channels into a micro-exchange.

The difference between an exchange and a Taro node, is the node operator personally owns the asset amounts on their side of the channels at any time. Anyone that transacts through their node between differing assets are conducting transactions on behalf of the operator, and thus turns them into a middle-man that would then be subject to capital gains each time a non-btc asset is moved through their node.

The Taro node operator is also subject to swings in the market, and could easily be used by other nodes to ride out swings in the market to their detriment. You become a market-maker between the assets on your channels and subject to having your node's total value capacity eroded by any other Taro node on the network even if you-yourself aren't conducting any transactions through your node.

For example Bob could move their bitcoin asset over to Carol, and hold dollars before bitcoin drops in dollar price. Then before bitcoin rises again in price, Bob could buy back their bitcoin for dollars from Carol. Because the exchange rate changes throughout the day, these transactions could happen several times per day and Carol's total assets driven to next to nothing.

Sure Carol could claim a capitol-gains loss on her taxes, and she would be required to do so, but how is that a proportional consolation?

What am I missing here?

Example multi-hop Taro transfer

It is not. But RGB works without Taproot. However, I doubt LL couldn't participate and roll out some RGB v2 or something.

is the current RGB code open source?

Yes. Look here and in their repos generally. This is for node

https://github.com/LNP-WG/lnp-node