Best TruStories of the Week - #1


#43

Claim: 99 percent of cryptocurrencies are worth zero

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/nouriel-dr-doom-roubini-99-percent-of-cryptocurrencies-are-worth-zero

Evidence: As according to Coinmarketcap there are almost two thousand cryptocurrencies that are not worth zero, it is unlikely that there’s 99x amount of cryptocurrencies existing in the world worth zero.


#44

Claim: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are useless

Source: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/08/30/bitcoin-and-other-cryptocurrencies-are-useless

Evidence: It is already proved wrong by many case examples that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been useful for people in many places like in countries facing hyperinflation


#45

Claim: No serious institution would ever allow its transactions to be verified by an anonymous cartel operating from the shadows of the world’s authoritarian kleptocracies (meaning blockchain)

Source: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/blockchain-big-lie-by-nouriel-roubini-2018-10

Evidence: Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies/so forth are not anonymous cartels. Also, there are already many institutions on board, banks, and institutional investors are getting on board too


#46

claim: Sirin Labs launches Finnay: the worlds premier blockchain smart phone.

source:

analysis:

The first part of the story is correct, Sirin Lab did lanch Finnay. But it hasnt shipped yet, so I am not sure if the word launch is the correct word here.

The second part of the story is a claim which needs to be justified. In order for it to be the worlds first blockchain smart phone. It has to have its own blockchain solution running somehow, or has to have a node running on the blockchain. Since this phone is doing neither of these, this is not a blockchain phone.

Essentially, what this is, is an ultra secure phone. But then this is no different from the other ultra secure phones e.g. HTCs exodus, and PundiX (which sounds like an actual blockchain enabled phone, but they also havent launched yet so)…


#47

Claim : Ethereum Dapp augur records 2 million in Bets in US mid terms election.

Source: https://www.ccn.com/ethereum-dapp-augur-records-2-million-in-bets-in-us-midterms/

Analysis:

First source that proves this is a comment by Augurs Co-founder. Another source is looking at the numbers on Augurs website. There is no way to calculate the total bets but looking at the number of the mid-term election, this number seems seems fair.

link-to-augurs-election-bet

There are two bets one, of 4,682.0748 ETH and the other of 60.7209 ETH. So the total amount staked on just the election is around 900K. So if betting amount is 900k in one month, then it is safe to assume that the total betting amount since its inception would be around 2 million. Augur launched on July 9th, 2018

Over all the title is clickbaity, and a google search for “augur and mid-term election bidding” results in similar titles. All of them focus on the 2 million part as opposed to the 900k part of just the election betting, which is the actual news.


#48

Claim: Coinbase Launches Full Trading of Basic Attention Token.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-launches-full-trading-of-basic-attention-token

Analysis: This is valid by looking at the coinbase website. And the BAT blog post.


#49

Claim : Student Invested $5k in Ethereum & Now Owes $400k in Taxes

Source: https://elevenews.com/2018/11/07/tax-nightmare-student-invested-5k-in-ethereum-now-owes-400k-in-taxes/

Evidence: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2018/01/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-taxes-cryptocurrency/#5bbf2c9e605f

In 2017, on Reddit, a student posted a summary of his experience investing in
Ethereum that ending with him owing IRS 400k. Online, one can find several articles on this story, usually accompanied by attention-grabbing headlines, such as the article “Tax Nightmare: Student Invested $5k in Ethereum & Now Owes $400k in Taxes.” At glance, the math appears to makes zero sense. If one is already skeptical of the true value of cryptocurrencies, headlines of this nature are highly likely to feed and thus fuel their skepticism. However, sometimes the food we eat to fuel ourselves has empty calories. With that stated, let’s review the facts.

Facts as reported by the student:

  • In May 2017, the investment made into Ethereum: $5,000 USD
  • In December 2017, net profit on investment: ~ $880,000 USD
  • Student didn’t cash out to fiat and transfer any USD bank accounts from trading
  • Student reports that he gambled with profits and exchanged for other cryptocurrencies

With the above-noted facts taken into account, to further investigate, the following questions follow: Are investors, by the IRS, required to pay taxes on profits earned through investing in cryptocurrencies? Is trading cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency, by the IRS, categorized as a taxable event? Yes, and Yes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the claim made in the article headline, technically, is true according. However, in my opinion, the title is misleading. Had the title been, “Student Invested $5k in Ethereum, Profited $880,000, and Now Owes the IRS 400k.”

Thank you for reading,

Astra Rai


#50

Claim: Opinion: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies are Just the Beanie Babies of the Moment

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-and-cryptocurrencies-are-just-the-beanie-babies-of-the-moment-2018-01-12

Evidence: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ty-Beanie-Baby-Hissy-Errors-Rare-with-P-V-C-Pellets/292814554138?hash=item442d1b841a:g:2rMAAOSwctJb5c0e

The article, makes the claim that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are just the Beanie Babies of the moment; therefore, not valuable.

I remember the Beanie Baby crazy in the 90s. I received one as a Christmas gift and was instructed to keep it in mint condition as it would increase in value over time. I haven’t thought about about Beanie Babies for almost twenty years until this summer when an acquaintance mentioned the success of CryptoKitties . I hadn’t heard of CryptoKitties prior this conversation and for whatever reason or number of reasons, I instantly thought about Beanie Babies.

After the conversation, I decided to check eBay to see if anyone had Beanie Babies for sale. To my surprise, they were. An even bigger surprise is a green snake, named Hiss , with a price tag of $418.00. The first thought to surface was, Who’d pay $418.00 for a stuffed animal? Of course, the answer is a person who values Beanie Babies as collectables and or a person who’s of the opinion these stuff animals are valuable investments.

While thinking about the $418-priced stuff animal, I reflected on my childhood hobbies. During middle and high school, I collected basketball cards. I obtained cards by trading them, bartering, or purchasing them with cash. In my neighborhood, this was serious business. I collected basketball and basketball cards only, preferably cards of those who played for the Chicago Bulls. At no point would I pay cash for, barter to obtain, or trade my basketball cards for baseball or hockey cards. Why? It’s simple; I only valued basketball cards. In the summer, I’d mow laws to earn money just to buy basketball cards. I didn’t care how hot and humid it was.

In summary, what’s valuable is honestly left to interpretation. The author’s claim isn’t true or false. As of this date time, Bitcoin has value. Will it in the future? Only time will tell if investing and valuing digital currencies is a mere fad.

Thank you for reading,

Astra Rai


#51

Claim : Bitcoin is the greatest scam in human history.

Source: https://www.recode.net/2018/4/24/17275202/bitcoin-scam-cryptocurrency-mining-pump-dump-fraud-ico-value

Evidence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory

Simply defined, a scam is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. In the past three months, I’ve casually asked people their thoughts on Bitcoin and its value as a digital currency. A large majority responded by saying Bitcoin is “all hype”, not “real money”, or that it’s “a scam.” My follow-up question is usually, “How much have you researched it? Do you know anyone who uses it?” In most cases, these inquires yield an uncomfortable silence.

Recently, I read an article with the headline “Bitcoin is the Greatest Scam in Human History .” I almost didn’t read the article, but decided to give it go. In the article, the author writes, “Bitcoin doesn’t have intrinsic value. It only has value if people think other people want to by it at a higher price — the Greater Fool Theory.” This is not 100% true. There are a number of use cases for Bitcoin outside of simply investing in hopes of earning profit on the investment in the future. People use Bitcoin to pay for goods and services on a daily basis.

According to Wikipedia, the greater fool theory states that the price of an object is determined not by its intrinsic value, but rather by irrational beliefs and expectations of market participants. A price can be justified by a rational buyer under the belief that another party is willing to pay an even higher price. In other words, one may pay a price that seems “foolishly” high because one may rationally have the expectation that the item can be resold to a “greater fool” later.

Maybe, just maybe Bitcoin is the greatest scam in human history. Time will tell. However, the arguments listed by the author, don’t fully support this claim. Therefore, with all due respect, I conclude that the claim is false.

Thanks for reading,

Astra Rai


#52

Claim: Twitter accounts being hacked to host a “crypto” giveaway scam

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/official-google-account-hacked-in-latest-twitter-crypto-scam

Evidence: tweet was removed from Twitter by Google

Valid? yes! this also happened to Target! apparently, tweets promoting crypto are extremely prevalent. Hacks earlier this month saw accounts held by a U.S. lawmaker, a film company and a book publisher taken over to impersonate SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk.


#53

Claim: Bitcoin crashes below 6,000…Ethereum and Ripple follow

Source: https://www.fxstreet.com/cryptocurrencies/news/breaking-news-bitcoin-crashes-below-6-000-lowest-in-three-months-201811141616

Evidence: https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/11/15/bitcoin-is-crashing-whats-wrong-with-the-cryptocur.aspx

True: I was introduced to the term “hardfork”. it’s extremely interesting how cryptocurrencies branch out so they can function independently. i can understand how this can make the market extremely volatile, and with news in the past an article explained how someone bought crypto only spending a small amount of money, but that money skyrocketed to over 850,000. it ended up that this gentleman had to pay an absurd amount of tax on something that he doesn’t even have the money for. i can see the bugs with crypto, but i think reading more articles will explain things a lot better :slight_smile:


#54

Claim: Elon Musk is sending fake tweets regarding crypto

Source: https://dailyhodl.com/2018/11/13/fake-elon-musk-rakes-in-more-than-37k-in-latest-twitter-bitcoin-and-crypto-scam/

Evidence: twitter and various articles

True: what strikes me is how many people respond to these posts regarding the crypto. i think it will take years upon years for people to become educated enough to know that it is indeed spam. A personal anecdote, and how one can truly learn their lesson is when they fall for the scam. I was duped from something like this, where I was told to go to the bank and cash a western unions cashiers check. Only until I did it, did I realize that it was a complete fraud and I was being duped/phished.
I can’t imagine the future, but I know with this crypto craze security will have to get more tough, as ways to hack and scam will become increasingly prevalent!


#55

Claim: “BBVA completes $150M syndicated loan on Ethereum blockchain”


#56

Claim: “Bitcoin wallet company, Blockchain, to give out $125M worth of XLM to its users”


#57

Claim: " If all the applications and their transactions can run without ETH, there’s no reason for ETH to be valuable unless the miners enforce some sort of racket to require users to pay in ETH"


#58

This is an interesting claim. Because one way of looking at this claim is… “MetaMask introduces Privacy Mode.” Another way to look at the same claim is “MetaMask had a bug in their software that allowed Dapps to gain access to user data without explicit consent.”

The second claim is more interesting. Which could then be threaded to another claim, “MetaMask has fixed this bug by introducing “privacy mode” as a feature.”


#59

This is a true claim.

But a more interesting claim to make from this source is “Binance is the leader in exchanges, in terms of trading volume, number of active users, web visitors and also API volume.”

I say this (that we want to make as interesting claims as possible) but I also want to add:

we don’t want to make claims on TruStory, yet (by that I mean, make claims directly on TruStory that haven’t been elsewhere). Right now, we want to find claims made in the media. And present them in the most interesting way possible without interpreting someone’s else words or putting words in their mouth.

Does that make sense? We want to find claims, turn them into as “interesting” stories as possible without putting words in people’s mouths. It’s an art.


#60

Based on the link you posted for the source, I would say there is no claim to be made.

  • @CryptoCobain is making a claim that Bitcoin will be hacked in the future (future prediction. not validatable on TruStory. could be bet on using prediction markets like Augur or Gnosis…)

  • the claim “bitcoin is not secure” could be implied from the source, but it’s not an explicit claim he’s making. We have to be careful of not putting words in people’s mouth because in trying to fact-check claims, we should make false claims ourselves.

  • the claim “Bitcoin is not secure, you heard all the time in the news that BTC got hacked” is nowhere in the source. I’m not saying you can’t paraphrase or summarize when necessary but it’s important to quote accurately and pull claims accurately.

  • Sorry if this is overwhelming. I made these mistakes 10,000 times. Just pointing out things I wish someone told me earlier.


#61

Hey @mfiege. Good find! I would say the evidence works better as a story than the claim does, although both work.

“Ripple can achieve a spot price of $1,000.” is a kind-of a future claim. The claim is really is it possible for Ripple to achieve that price. That’s why I say kind-of. It works.

“For Ripple to achieve a price of $1,000 per XRP, its market capitalization would have to outpace all of global GDP.” This is an interesting claim, I’d like to see verified!


#62

Hey @sijo0703
This is going to sound blunt but I want to make it clear.

This claim doesn’t work. And it’s because you’re making a moral claim (or subjective).

" Claim: Assassination marketplace exists in Augur and they are bad!"

The “and they are bad!” part makes it an invalid claim. Moral claims, which I think you’re making, are not able to verified independently by knowledgeable humans.

But the “Assassination marketplace exists in Augur” part works. This was secondary, but also try to not bundle multiple claims into one because it increases the unlikelihood surface. Because of the second claim (moral claim) within entire claim, now the entire claim is false.

Yeah… that was a mouthful. Hope this helps.