Best TruStories of the Week - #10


Nice investigating @dnivrav!


WOW – great find! Nice work. I hope they didn’t get anyone.


Claim: Coinstar is adding crypto BTM and bitcoin voucher services in 2019, which could increase the number of BTM and crypto voucher-enabled machines worldwide by 5 times.

Category: Markets


Stake: Back Claim (50 CRED)
Argument / Evidence:

The growth in the number of BTM and Bitcoin voucher machines has been fast over the last 2-3 years, now totaling ~4,500 machines worldwide. Coinstar’s newly announced entry into the space represents another “20,000 machines BTM/voucher machines capable of providing Bitcoin purchases”.

A look at the rate of growth worldwide:

Status: Confirmed. While it’s not clear what percentage of Coinstar’s 20,000 BTM-capable machines will be commissioned by Coinstar to provide this service in 2019, with the global BTM market currently at 4,500 machines worldwide, the entry of the market-leader in Coinstar and their 20,000 machines could 5x the number of BTM machines in the global the market in 2019.


Do you think this will help the use of BTC for day to day transactions?


Thank you @jtierney. ‘Investing’, I was hoping that would be pun intended. :smiley: I borrowed lessons from your post on electric car.

Thanks @SadieRaney. The bitcoin address has zero balance so far. Unless they keep changing the address, it is all good.


Interesting question @preethi. If by transactions you mean the buying and selling of goods, I suppose it could promote retail usage of Bitcoin given that Coinstar machines are often located in grocery stores and broader retail formats.

I think it’s extremely useful for Bitcoin mindshare, since these machines have large digital screens that act, in effect, as prominent billboards in locations that consumers frequent on a semi-weekly basis.

My guess is that it will drive adoption, as I believe a lack of UX friendly onramps are one of the major problems holding back Bitcoin adoption. My personal view is that beyond speculation, the current ‘killer app’ for Bitcoin is as a relatively anonymous and unseizable store of value, and I think the relative untraceability of Coinstar’s cash-to-crypto onramp is well aligned with consumers seeking to take advantage of Bitcoins inherent properties for this purpose.


Claim: A leaked interview with commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. suggests the SEC may soon approve Bitcoin ETF

Category : Regulation

Source :

My Stake: Challenge with 50 TruStake

My Argument/Evidence: The source of the ‘leak’ appears to be from Drew Hinks, on Twitter:

But as Hinks points out in response, the info is not from a leak but rather “a public database.”

In fact, the source of the original interview-based article with Commissioner Jackson by Chris Marquette was published on

There is some confusion about the dates of publication. Hinkes posted his screenshots of the interview on Feb 5. On the second image, the date reads Feb 11, 2019. Hinks attributes this to

“the formal publication date for the actual interview, of which the above contains excerpts.”

Other’s say it is simply a mistake. The Rollcall article is actually dated Feb 6, 2019 - the day after Hink’s screenshot. I’m not sure what to make of that, or what importance, if any, that detail has.

In any case, framing this as a ‘leak’ is misleading.
It’s also misleading to characterize comments made by commissioner Jackson as a sign of impending approval from the SEC of an ETF.

A simple cmd/f search of the interview returns zero results for the word ‘soon.’ The most encouraging statement made by Jackson is:

"Eventually, do I think someone will satisfy the standards that we’ve laid out there? I hope so, yes, and I think so.”

In sum, the interview was not leaked and there is no indication of in the interview of ETF approval taking place ‘soon.’ Although there are many applications awaiting a decision, in the interview, SEC Commissioner Jackson “wouldn’t speculate on whether one of those will get approval, or when.” He simply states that he hopes a Bitcoin ETF that meets the SEC’s standards is approved eventually.


Claim: BBVA completed the first syndicated loan on blockchain

Source: Bloomberg at 0:41 seconds mark

Category: Finance/Use Case

My Stake: 90 creds, backing the claim

My Evidence:

In the video, there was a mention that BBVA completed its first syndicated loan by Joyce Chang, a global researcher with JP Morgan’s global security team. Chang mentions that this was reported on JPM’s interbank network that partners with 157 banks.

The loan a $150 million loan for Spanish grid operator, Red Electric with BBVA (Spanish) and partner banks MUFG (Japanese), and BNP Paribas (French) reported by the Financial Times on 11/6/2018.

Subsequent tweets were confirmed by BBVA and Red Electric’s handles and BBVA’s website.

The only reason I’m not backing this 100% because the transaction occurred on a private Ethereum based blockchain and I can’t find a transaction record on Etherscan for November of last year because I couldn’t search that far back.

Does anymore randomly download all of Ethereum’s network transactions and have the records from November 2018?


My Stake: Back original claim 50 CRED
I attempted to forward a message to my 6 of my most recent chats and was stopped by the platform:

I wonder if Whatsapp is still allowing people to copy/paste messages to multiple chats instead. I think this is an interesting feature to implement, but forwarding to 5 is still a pretty sizable multiple. It’ll be interesting to see if it does remarkably affect the spread of misinformation.


Claim : The current state of on-chain governance is trending more towards oligopolies. Each protocol has its own ruling party and its own oligarchs (i.e., exchanges, investors, individuals who may collude to have more influence). (Note: protocols referenced in this article include: EOS, Dash, NEO, Tezos, Decred)

Category : Governance

Source : [Author: Meltem Demirors]

My Stake : TBD. I’m listing out her arguments, evidence for anyone who would like to dig further.

Argument/Evidence :

Governance, in the context of protocol networks, refers to a set of processes for how rules are made for these networks. On-chain governance mechanisms that allow people to participate include delegation services, staking pools, voting service providers etc.

Meltem lists the following reasons for why on-chain governance trends towards oligopolies (i.e., a consolidation of stakes/votes to influence governance outcomes):

  1. Voting is clunky; the average user is unlikely to invest time/energy to participate.

  2. Not all issues are important for the average user, they’ll only turn up when issues really matter.

  3. Voting is risky; there are social, financial and physical risk involved in voting, so the average user may not want to take on these risks.

  4. Because on-chain voting provides a financial reward for ‘politiking’, it draws in people who are attracted to these schemes.

  5. Because businesses built on these networks are dependent on how changes to the protocol are implemented, the ability to influence and control the development of the network (i.e., changes merged at the protocol level, how governance on the protocol evolves etc) is very valuable (and why governance is a matter of power and money).

According to Meltem’s reasoning, the above factors are deterrents to average users exercising their votes, and opens a path for motivated entities to consolidate votes/ stakes - this is why, she argues, on-chain governance schemes trend towards oligopolies.

Evidence offered: Meltem offers the following pieces of evidence to support her arguments above:

  • Instances of coercion, collusion and cartel-like behavior among exchanges, investors and the team on the EOS protocol.

  • Proliferation of “staking-as-a-service” such as:

  • Although not one of the protocols studied here, she references Cosmos removing a cartel from “Game of Stakes” to illustrate how cartel behavior forms.


  1. I get the reasoning for why on-chain governance would trend towards oligopolies; I wonder, for the sake of a counter-argument if a case can be made that these dynamics also exist for off-chain governance?
  2. Is there evidence of cartel-like behavior for other protocols (not listed here) that have off-chain governance? (If not, what is it about off-chain governance that mitigates cartel-like behavior?)
  3. Is there additional evidence of collusion, cartel-like behavior for NEO, Tezos, Dash, Decred, that would further support her argument.

Claim: The current state of on-chain governance is trending more towards oligopolies

Claim: There are about 15 mining pools control that control ~98% of Bitcoin’s hash power.

Category: Mining

(shout out to @priyatham for posting this claim)

My Stake: Support 50 TruStakes


Across three sites, the evidence for mining distribution is as follows:

The above table represent an aggregation of bitcoin network hashrate distribution across mining pools. Data is referenced across the following three sites:


Since the numbers for individual pools vary across site, I took an average for pools that were represented by at least two sites. We can estimate that 11 pools account for roughly 80% of the hashrate.

There’s wide variance in “unknown” ranging from 4.6% - 38.7% of the hashrate, depending on the site. Taking’s large “unknown” (38.7%), one could guess that it might belong to one of the pools that other sites were able to pick up (i.e.,, DPOOL, Bixin, SigmaPool, Poolin etc).

Given the data, I will support the claim that there are about 15 pools that control 98% of the hashrate. [50 TruStakes]

Addendum: Primary Sources





Hi Rena,

Following the link you provided to Etherscan, you can adjust the dates to see the Ethereum’s network transactions between specific dates (below: I adjusted dates from Oct-Nov,2018, 10/1/2018 - 11/30/2018)

Given that the actual transaction happened on a private chain, we may not be privy to that info. They do say “Once the contract was signed, it was given a unique identifier that was recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.”

I’m not quite sure how to access that unique identifier on the blockchain, but would definitely be cool if we could.


Claim : Argentina’s State Public Transport Card SUBE now(9th Feb, 2019) accepts Bitcoin

Category : Bitcoin, Crypto Adoption

Source :

My Stake : Clone and back claim (100 CRED)

My Argument/Evidence :


Whoa! So I’m still able to send 6 forwards at a time. Do you think things are restricted by location?


Thank you—you’re awesome!


Claims like this in health and nutrition(and all other grey areas) are much needed!


Ah, so interesting! Maybe! I also use WhatsApp VERY infrequently…could be that they’re rolling out the features slowly, starting with those who use the platform least. (I’ve noticed that Instagram seems to do that. I’m a very active user and I get the updates/new filters MONTHS after some of my very-infrequent client user accounts)


Claim : The current state of on-chain governance is trending more towards oligopolies. Each protocol has its own ruling party and its own oligarchs (i.e., exchanges, investors, individuals who may collude to have more influence). (Note: protocols referenced in this article include: EOS, Dash, NEO, Tezos, Decred)

Category : Governance

Source : [Author: Meltem Demirors]

My Stake : I support the general claim that Meltem is making with 50 TruStakes. However, there are additional arguments that would support the claim even more.

(Additional) Arguments: The reasons Meltem provides for why on-chain governance trends towards oligopolies (see above) does not seem to be unique to on-chain governance schemes. In off-chain governance schemes (i.e., what some call loosely coupled, hard-fork model), the same challenges remain, namely, the majority of users will be disinterested in many issues and will not want to invest time/energy to vote. Moreover, lobbying and ‘politiking’ are common in off-chain systems as well.

However, the key is that for on-chain governance, unlike off-chain governance or in traditional voting in the real world, vote buying is increasingly easy. Smart contracts, specialty hardware and “dark” DAOs make vote buying easy, particularly for any permissionless system where users can generate their own keys (see Phil Daian’s post here for details). Phil would argue that hard fork-based governance (i.e., off-chain) provides users with the only exit from oligopolies (see here).

For other thoughts on why on-chain governance, more so that other forms of governance, lead to oligopolies, see Vitalik’s posts (here and here).

Interestingly, governance exists at many layers; at the consensus, governance and application layers also involve “voting”. Vlad Zamfir makes a compelling argument for why proof-of-stake (at least his version, Casper) would protect against plutocracy (see here).

Claim: The current state of on-chain governance is trending more towards oligopolies
Best TruStories of the Week - #12

My Stake: Back original claim 100 CRED
The 5 messages rule has been in India for the past 6 months. The global roll-out will just take time.