Digital Collectibles

NFT Copycats Exploding on Binance Smart Chain

copycat cryptopunks alien

Binance Smart Chain is becoming a cesspool of uncreative, money-grabbing copycat NFT products that don’t even take the time to add a bit of their own sauce to the recipe. No matter whether we look at the DeFi or NFT market, there are many cheap rip-offs. Do you own research or DYOR is once again becoming a strong motto for those diving into this space.

I have to be honest here, I’m disgusted. Imitation might be the highest form of flattery, and I see nothing wrong with copying an idea. However, what’s happing on Binance Smart Chain is people straight-up copying an entire NFT project and its website, slightly altering the name and replacing every mention of Ethereum with Binance Smart Chain.

CryptoPunks ➡ Binance Punks

Hashmasks ➡ Bashmasks

Euler Beats ➡ Musical Beats

These projects aren’t original. They are money-grabbing scams and should be avoided at all times, or at least if you actually want to be the original. An quality copycat would use the concept of CryptoPunks and create their own version, like for example SubstraPunks or more prominent Unofficial Punks. Create your version of Hashmasks, and name it AnimalMasks or whatever, and sure, why not create an RaveBeats with EDM music? But what’s happening on Binance Smart Chain is (arguably) morally wrong.

Scams on Binance Smart Chain

Binance Smart Chain is currently the biggest competitor for Ethereum. Based on transaction volume, pumped or not, they have surpassed Ethereum, and all those transactions happen free. They offer an amazing user experience. People need this to enjoy the benefits of decentralized finance, as nobody should be dealing with crazy gas fees.

However, again, many projects on Binance Smart Chain come from Ethereum. PancakeSwap is the biggest DeFi application, with 47 thousand users according to DappRadar. However, ultimately the project is a copy of Uniswap. In the PancakeSwap sourcecode on Github the developers didn’t even remove the references to Uniswap. Maybe it’s something cultural, but again an example of lazy copying.

Thankfully PancakeSwap is a product people use to exchange tokens or simply trade to make money. In addition the platform is developing, has its own website and own native token. Even though the copy work is sloppy, to some extend you might say it honors the true O.G.

But looking at NFT projects, such reasonable thoughts on plagiarism can’t be applied. NFTs are digital products from a creative space, and their uniqueness doesn’t only apply to the underlying code, but to a big extend also to their visuals. When a project copies an other NFT project, and even maintains the same visuals in both the digital collectibles and the website, then it’s a scam. Purely a scam to confuse users and take their money for personal gain.

Original vs Scam

Do these copies matter?

It’s not unusual in the world of collectibles to see copycats. In our physical realm we see fake Gucci bags and forged paintings as well. Not everybody can afford a $10.000 watch, and therefore a $300 fake Rolex could be nice as well. However, I do find it important to educate people. There’s nothing wrong with a good copy that adds flavor. However, a straight copy from an NFT and its website… has been created for one purpose: to scam people.

Ultimately we’ll see some copycats appreciate in value as well. It’s something that’s already happening with those BinancePunks. But amidst all this chaos of creativity, I find it important to point out the copycats. Educate you, my readers, about what’s original and valuable, and what’s a copy. Ultimately imitation is the highest flattery, but consumers shouldn’t fall victim.

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Robert Hoogendoorn avatar
Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he's a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He's a content manager and creator at heart, started the Play to Earn Online Magazine in early 2020.