Best TruStories of the Week - #11


#21

Claim: The best poker player will not have more than a 5% edge against another good player.

Category: Gambling (Poker)

My Stake: 100 Cred I borrowed from Priyatham

Source: https://www.top10pokerwebsites.net/blog/fascinating-facts-about-poker

Argument/Evidence:
Some useful Context

Analysis:

First, this is basically a made up threshold that weaker players assume a high variance game like poker must have. The sentiment of this claim is that as poker gets tougher year after year (the average pro that play 200$ games today have a better theoretical understanding of poker than pros playing a $10000 game in 2005 - this is not an opinion but as close to a fact as possible) and you play smarter opponents your edge must decrease (relative to weaker amateurs) and must be capped. Assuming the argument from the background is even possible falsifies this fake cap. Being able to manipulate and accurately read your opponents is worth significantly more than 5% and this edge is not linear. So the more hands you would play against someone you can manipulate allows you to compound your edge. It is much more accurate to say the best player would never have less than a 5% edge against anyone that is a member in the set of “good poker players.”


#22

Claim : “I think we’re seeing this new kind of economy of these use cases that weren’t previously possible. Like sending 5 cents over the Internet, globally, instantly. And anyone can build on top of it” - Elizabeth Stark in a podcast with Jack Dorsey

Category : Bitcoin & Lightning

Source : https://stephanlivera.com/episode/52

My Stake : Back [50 Cred]

My Argument/Evidence : There’s quite a many projects building on top of Lightning Network, altough it’s not that easy to find any list of these projects. There’s a newsletter https://www.lapps.co/ that sends updates about new LN projects. From there I found many, some of those listed here:

Lightning Chess
Lightning Singles
Space Invaders a game
Bitword Guess a word guessing game
Proof of Plays share sound files and get paid via the LN everytime someone listens to them
The Order of Archivist a novel you can pay per page
LightTube a platform for content creators where viewers pay via the LN

So there’s projects, though it’s a valid question whether these projects have users and how many. However, early days! Time will tell. But I will back this claim as LN is already in action and it is possible to send satoshis and fractions of btc over the Internet, which can enable new use cases.


#23

Claim : Mozart was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave at age 31.
Category : Music

Source :


https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pauper's
Widespread myth

My Stake : Challenge 100 TruStake

My Argument/Evidence :

  1. Mozart died at 35, not 31 (1756-1791).
  2. Records from the time indicate that he was buried in an “Allgemeines Grab” or “common/general grave” in a sealed wooden coffin in Vienna’s St. Marx cemetery on December 5th, 1791. The term “allgemeines/common” refers to a grave belonging to a common citizen, i.e. not an aristocrat. A “pauper’s grave” is different in that it usually indicates a grave paid for at public expense because the deceased person’s family could not afford one, although this definition changes through history and differs in practice is different locations.

Although his coffin may have been buried in a plot with 4–5 other people -

this was actually the standard practice for middle-income families of the time. The burial of groups of people in one grave was organized and dignified, differing greatly from the images of large open pits now synonymous with the term ‘mass grave.’

At the time of Mozart’s burial, the people of Vienna could choose from several classes of funerals. Baron van Swieten recommended and proceeded to arrange a third-class funeral for Mozart. In the late 18th century, 85% of Viennese were buried in a third-class funeral, which cost around 8 – 12 florins (about $300 - $450USD by today’s inflation rates). A second-class funeral had more church service, more music, more pallbearers and was considerably more expensive. A first-class funeral was reserved for the titled elite.

Some say that the grave was marked initially (meaning Mozart’s name was indicated on a headstone or something similar), and, as was common practice, the remains were moved after a few years, and the exact location within the cemetery is currently unknown.
Others maintain the grave was not marked upon burial.

Also,

Some historians have suggested that the story of Mozart’s ‘paupers’ burial was first encouraged, if not partly started, by the composer’s widow, Constanze, who used the tale to provoke public interest in her husband’s work, and her own performances of it.


#24

Thanks Justin! Might help readers if you defined “unmarked” and “pauper’s grave” since these might not be terms people are familiar with.


#25

Thanks, @preethi, just updated it.


#26

@DanielKoff how does one measure # of “dark net” market transactions? If they are “dark net” transactions, aren’t they in the dark and difficult to measure? :thinking:


#27

Claim : Bitcoin trading in Venezuela has just hit an all-time high

Category : Use cases

Source : https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/14/venezuela-crisis-bitcoin-trading-volumes-hit-an-all-time-high-.html

My Stake : Back with 100 Cred

My Argument/Evidence : This is based on statistics by Coin Dance about LocaBitcoins volume. Found the same data from their website here where you find more historical data.

03

The volume has risen significantly just during the past week and is at all-time-high.

Why use Localbitcoins volume as data set? Here’s an analysis of that. The statement by the writer is that because 1) it’s not a low/no-fee exchange and 2) it’s almost exclusively fiat-to-crypto, fewer traders are using it for speculation, which means people are using it for real. Makes sense.


#28

Interesting…

Is localbitcoins the only way Venezuelans are trading Bitcoin? or are there other places too? I’m sure it doesn’t change the claim but just curious?


#29

Claim: Not All Links are Equal: How Backlinks from Different Page Locations are Worth More (Or Less)

Source: Blog post by Niel Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, New York Times best selling author, referred to as a “top influencer on the web” by Wall Street Journal

Category: Search Engine Optimization(SEO)

My Stake: Back with 100 Cred

Argument/Evidence:
Some useful context

Terms to define before evaluating claim: search engine optimization (SEO), hyperlink, and backlink, do follow and no follow links:

Search Engine Optimization:
SEO is short for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

Hyperlink:
Often simply referred to as a link, an element in an electronic document that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document. Typically, you on the hyperlink to follow the link. Hyperlinks are the most essential ingredient of all hypertext systems, including the World Wide Web.

Backlink:
In search engine optimization (SEO), a backlink is a hyperlink that links from a Web page, back to your own Web page or Website. Also called an inbound link (IBL) these links are important in determining the popularity (or importance) on your Web site

Resources for the above mentioned definitions, [Webopedia](https://www.webopedia.com/

Do follow link:
A do-follow link, on the other hand, is a link that will pass on the SEO benefits of the website where it is built from to the hyperlinked site. This is the type of backlink that link builders will create for SEO purposes.

No follow link:
Nofollow links are links with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to them. The nofollow tag tells search engines to ignore that link. The nofollow tag was originally created by Google to combat blog comment spam.

Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks are one the many factors that influence a site’s Google’s PageRank. Quality backlinks are essentially in building SEO-friendly websites.

Analysis:

In reference to PageRank, Google Webmasters states the following on how no follow links are handled:

In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using No Follow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web.

However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using No Follow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle No Follow in slightly different ways.”


#30

Claim: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) obtained from Bitcoin (BTC) chain splitting isn’t taxable

Category: Regulation

Source: https://rroyselaw.com/tax-law/blockchain-technology/taxation-of-forks/

My Stake: Back 100 Cred.

My Argument/Evidence:

A stock dividend isn’t taxed because it represents no new succession to wealth. When you buy Apple stock, you’re sent a dividend, a % of the company’s quarterly profits. Dividends represent no new succession to wealth because it’s not an income and there is no immediate satisfaction of utility or service from it; therefore it’s not taxable under US law. By the same line of reasoning, a fork of Bitcoin isn’t taxable because it also represents no new succession to wealth.

Moreover, 1) a prominent Silicon Valley lawyer argued the same thing and 2) there is no firm guidance from IRS on the treatment of forks.

Useful context:

Under US law, stock dividends aren’t taxable so long as shareholder DOES NOT receive cash (realize their gain). This is due to the Eisner v. Macomber case (1920).

Income is all wealth that comes in in the form of utilities and services. The utility of a product is why we desire things. We call it a service if the satisfaction comes from human effort.


#31

Fascinating! It looks like Coin Center is pushing for clarity on this from the IRS as well.


#32

Claim: Jussie Smollet was beaten by two white men wearing yelling “MAGA country”

Category: Politics

Stake: 25 cred challenge the claim

Evidence: On January 29th pictures of Jussie Smollet with cuts on his face, a star from the show Empire, was tweeted by TMZ. Smollet told police and TMZ that a group of white men beat him up and yelled “MAGA country” as they hit him. Additionally, he claimed that these white men said racial and homophobic slurs as they beat him. Furthermore, he claimed that these white men put a rope around his neck, imitating a lynching.

Fox, the production studio behind Empire, issued a statement the next day, stating that they were saddened and outraged to learn of the attack.

Smollet then told ABC’s Good Morning America that he was most likely targeted because of his vocal criticism of Donald Trump.

Kamala Harris, a Democrat who is running for President, described the attack as a modern day lynching. Many other potential presidential hopefuls, such as Bernie Sanders, also denounced the attack.

Recently, two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that the Chicago Police Department now believes that Jussie Smollet orchestrated the attack himself, paying two men to commit the assault.

The two men who allegedly assaulted him were brought in by the police and questioned. It was found that they had purchased rope from an Ace Hardware store. Furthermore, one of them was an extra on the show Empire. The police now want to bring in Smollett for more questioning.

While this issue is clearly not resolved, the most recent evidence that has been leaked suggests that at the very least two white men yelling “MAGA country” did not attack Jussie Smollett.


#33

thanks @FatTony. Was just talking about this with a friend and how contrived the original claim is.

Thanks for being brave and digging in :ok_hand:


#34

Claim : JP Morgan’s new digital coin is a ‘cryptocurrency’.

Category : crypto glossary

Source :

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8xy55b/jp-morgan-chases-jpm-coin-isnt-a-cryptocurrencyi
https://medium.com/@jerrybrito/why-its-important-to-point-out-that-jpm-coin-is-not-a-cryptocurrency-f26fb07a04bc
https://www.jpmorgan.com/global/news/digital-coin-payments
https://mobile.twitter.com/AriDavidPaul/status/1096478520732205056
https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+of+a+cryptocurrency&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS712US712&oq=definition+of+a+cryptocurrency&aqs=chrome.0.0l2.3928j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cryptocurrency.asp

My Stake: Back claim (25 CRED)

Argument / Evidence :

There seems to be a lot of controversy about this claim, stemming from lack of a centralized (pun intended) source of agreement on the definition of a cryptocurrency. Some sources define ‘cryptocurrency’ broadly enough that any digital token that applies cryptography for security would be correctly defined as a cryptocurrency. Other definitions of cryptocurrency stipulate that the asset’s issuance and governance must not be centrally controlled to meet the cryptocurrency definitional requirements.

If we take JPMs website as evidence, they seem to sharply distinguish between Bitcoin and JPM coin. However, the statement “how does JPM coin differ from other cryptocurrencies?” implies that JPM coin belongs to the category of cryptocurrency.

Other analysts believe otherwise:

While many Bitcoiners and others in the cryptocurrency space are decidedly negative about the term ‘cryptocurrency’ being applied to JPM coin, some commentators believe the cryptocurrency definition will ultimately end up motivating users to better understand the distinctions between ‘decentralized cryptocurrencies’ and centralized alternatives like JPM coin:

If we use Google’s definition, it seems that JPM coin is a cryptocurrency:

If we use Investopedia’s definition, it seems that JPM coin is not a cryptocurrency:

Status : True. As a definitional matter, JPM’s use of the term ‘cryptocurrency’ when comparing JPM coin with Bitcoin implies that JPM coin is a cryptocurrency. But let’s not let a centralized institution (especially a bank) define the term cryptocurrency for us :). The JPM coin is cryptographically secured, and built on a fork of Geth, ethereum’s underlying technology. This technology stack strongly suggests that in spite of JPM coin’s centralized ownership and control, the JPM coin is a cryptocurrency.

If the degree of centralization factors into whether or not a given token is defined as a ‘cryptocurrency’ then a clear definition becomes very tricky, as there is currently no consensus on the criteria or measures defining a token’s level of centralization or decentralization. Furthermore, measuring decentralization is complex and dynamic, and a cryptocurrency’s level of decentralization often changes over time.

There is a good argument for using the term ‘cryptocurrency’ broadly, and further classifying cryptocurrecies into subcategories such as ‘open, and public’ or ‘centrally issued’ to distinguish their features.


#35

Interesting argument. I’m going to have to think more about it a bit more on where I stand on this. I’m likely in agreement with you.

Ahh. Hmm… thinking.


#36

Claim: UAE has the most liberal laws for women among countries in the Arab world and UAE constitution guarantees equal rights for men & women.

Category: World

Source:
https://www.uae-embassy.org/about-uae/women-uae

MyStake: 50 Challenge TruStake

My Argument/Evidence

United Arab Emirates is perceived as one of most liberal states in the Arab world especially for women with its cosmopolitan cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi and with very large population of expats living here. Working women are perceived to enjoy more liberal laws here compared to other Arab states, at least that is the image conceived by western world.

There is a lot of support for working women. Websites such as the Dubai Business Women Council website are empowering women by sharing business opportunities, organizing networking events, encouraging partnerships and providing several opportunities for professional and educational development.

Dubai has plenty to offer single working women including plenty in the way of entertainment, a vibrant night life and some world class venues; with domestic help commonly available and affordable, it is easy to balance work life and professional development with an active social life.

But even with its cosmopolitan culture UAE still has the heart of a traditional Arab country and women are restricted by many ways compared to their male counterparts.

I would like to point out some of the information collected from various sources to challenge the original claim.

  1. Source: http://www.livingindubai.org/women-working-in-dubai/

Most married women who come to Dubai usually have a stamp on their passports saying ‘Housewife – Not Allowed to Work’. If you are on your husband’s visa but would like to work, it is necessary to obtain a work permit or labor card from your potential employer that allows you to legally work in Dubai. You will also need an NOC (No-Objection Letter) from your husband.

Despite its relatively liberal stand on women in the work place, Dubai’s culture is still rooted in Islamic law and this influences behavior at work as well.

Local women are expected to cover themselves from head to toe and will often be seen wearing a long black robe called an abaya. Some women will even cover their faces. In a business setting, expat women are expected to dress in business attire that is suitably conservative. Dark-colored business suits should typically cover the knees and may include trousers or a long skirt. Elbows should also be covered with a shirt or vest.

  1. Source: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/raped-norwegian-woman-jailed-in-dubai-510018.html

This incident happened back in 2013.
A 24-year-old Norwegian woman was sentenced to 16 months in prison last year for having sex out of marriage and on alcohol charges after she claimed she was raped by a co-worker. She and her alleged attacker, who was jailed on similar charges, were later pardoned after an international outcry.

  1. Claims made by HRW - Human Rights Watch which is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization.

This article was published in 2015
Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/news/human-rights-watch-warns-expat-women-about-the-uae/

The campaigning organisation Human Rights Watch has highlighted the problems women in the United Arab Emirates can face if they become embroiled in a legal dispute with their husband.

HRW accused the authorities in the UAE – home to large numbers of British expats – of “failing to respond adequately to reports of domestic violence”.

It also highlighted the use of Islamic law, which discriminates against women.

HRW said it is aware of complaints from a number of expatriate women who say their reports of domestic violence to police in the UAE were not taken seriously.

It also highlighted cases where woman have seen custody of their children given to their former partners, who have prevented them from seeing the children.

“The UAE has sharia courts but its civil and criminal courts also apply elements of sharia, codified into its criminal code and family law, in a way which discriminates against women.”

  1. Gender Inequality Index of UAE has a rank of 40 as per 2012 data
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates

In 2008–2009, 21% of Emirati women were part of the labor force, whereas 45% of Kuwaiti women were part of the labor force.

Some laws continue to discriminate against Emirati women. Emirati women must receive permission from a “male guardian” to remarry. The requirement is derived from Sharia law, and has been federal law since 2005.

  1. Tips for women travelers shows the conservative culture of UAE.
    Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/united-arab-emirates/dubai/women-travellers

If you’re unmarried but traveling in male company, say that you’re married rather than girlfriend/boyfriend.

Avoid direct eye contact with men

Don’t sit in the front seat of taxis unless the driver is a woman.

On public transport, sit in the women’s section towards the front.

If you need help for any reason (directions etc), ask a woman first.

Conclusion:

The reason I decided to challenge this claim with only 50 trustake and not higher because I do not have first hand experience living in UAE and the biggest cosmopolitan city of UAE, Dubai poses a blind eye to all the conservative laws of Arab world as I get from this post

Sex outside marriage is illegal, but unmarried couples, gay and straight, hook up in hotels without anyone asking for a marriage license. Women and men fill tables at one of Dubai’s cultural mainstays, the all-you-can-drink Friday brunch. Not a single waiter asks for a liquor license before serving you, or whether your husband approves.


#37

Phenomenal. I LOVEEE the edits you made. The clarity of your argument went up 10x.

I would suggest caveating the claim with “Bitcoin Cash obtained from BTC chain splitting isn’t taxable.” It sounds like Bitcoin Cash that you bought is treated just like Bitcoin is. Do you know if that is the case?


#38

Thanks for the feedback! I just updated the claim.

There is no clear guidance re: taxation of hard forks from IRS but I am guessing if one bought Bitcoin Cash after the fork happened and the value of it in the market was clear (currently, the value of BCH is $121.60 USD) then it would be treated as a regular Bitcoin purchase. “The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer.” (Source)

I will let the TruStory community know if there is an update from IRS with clear tax guidance for hard forks in the future Source.


#39

Damn. What a good find @sijo0703. I’ll challenge the claim as well.


#40

Great! Please let me know if you hear anything new about IRS guidance re: hard forks.