Home News Blockchain startup sues Brian Armstrong for allegedly stealing its work

Blockchain startup sues Brian Armstrong for allegedly stealing its work


According to a new court complaint, ResearchHub, a scientific research site developed and self-funded by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, is purportedly based on work stolen from a yet-to-be-launched competitor.

MouseBelt Labs, a blockchain accelerator, filed a complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California on Dec. 17 saying that Armstrong’s ResearchHub is connected to Knowledgr, a research platform in which MouseBelt has invested.

Armstrong allegedly offered financing in Knowledgr while secretly working on his own competing project, ResearchHub. In order to take some of the resources invested into Knowledgr by MouseBelt, according to the lawsuit.

“A hypothetical open-source, scientific publication platform”

According to the document, Armstrong contacted Knowledgr’s founder Patrick Joyce in early 2019 after the Coinbase CEO laid out principles for “a hypothetical open-source, scientific publication platform” in a February post. Armstrong apparently grew interested in Knowledgr and informed Joyce that he was considering starting his own research site to compete with it, but that after learning more about it, he might invest in it.

According to the complaint, “this was all a ruse” because Armstrong had been working on ResearchHub “for over six months”. And “saw Joyce and Knowledgr as a huge time- and cost-saving hack”.

Joyce joined ResearchHub as the chief scientific officer in May 2020. Following his departure from Knowledgr in April 2020, according to his LinkedIn page.

Armstrong’s ResearchHub, according to the filing, is designed to work with tokens in the same way as Knowledgr does. Armstrong also allegedly promised Knowledgr the chance to list its tokens on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, according to the plaintiffs.

ResearchHub will be able to deploy a viable platform

Armstrong initially offered investment and listing options to Knowledgr. In order to kill the potential competitor and steal from the initiative, according to the lawsuit, which states:

“Armstrong and the other Defendants intended to take MouseBelt’s work and utilise it for their own purposes. Not only to eliminate potential competition, but also to reap the financial, design, and technical benefits of MouseBelt’s investment in Knowledgr for ResearchHub. As a result, ResearchHub will be able to deploy a viable platform. Based fully or in part on MouseBelt’s work sooner and at a lower cost.”

ResearchHub’s objective is to increase the pace of scientific research. By providing a “GitHub for science,” based on the premise of Armstrong’s “Ideas on how to better scientific research” article from early 2019. Researchers can upload articles to the open-source project. Which offers rewards for contributions in the form of ResearchCoin (RSC), a newly generated ERC20 token.

According to some of Armstrong’s most recent posts, ResearchHub has recently been aggressively soliciting contributors.

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