Best TruStories of the Week - #2


Alright experts, let’s see what you got!


Claim: Ransomware Hackers Attack Malaysian Media Company Demanding $6.3 Million in BTC


Evidence: Statement from Media Prima’s corporate PR head confirming the hack to The Malayasian Insight: “Our office email was affected, but we have migrated to G Suite. They (the attackers) demanded bitcoins, but we are not paying.” “The group wishes to state that at no time were our core business operations – broadcast, print, out-of-home advertising, content production and digital publishing – interrupted.”

The rep didn’t confirm the number of bitcoins but the the story suggests 1000 bitcoins which, at the time of the “hack”, had a valuation of around $6.3m.

Note: That quote is pulled from, which cites the paywalled malaysian insight article:

Status: True


Claim: The Gini coefficients of most crypto assets are significantly higher than the Gini coefficients of most fiat currencies.

Why it’s a good claim: “inequality” would be a vague word. Gini coefficients is an explicit way to compare things. This is falsifiable.


Evidence: Looked at the Gini coeffiecients of the top fiat currencies. “Top” is subjective, so I used the currencies the IMF (International Monetary Fund) chose to hold as reserve assets (because I’m not an expert on currencies so I’m gonna defer to someone who is).Then I looked at the data from the World Bank (source: and looked at the Gini coefficients from the most recent year that was reported. For some it was 2017. Some it was as early as 2008.

US Dollar, Swiss Franc (32.3), GB Pound (33.2), Japanese Yen (32.1), Chinese Yuan (42.2)

I couldn’t find the Gini coefficients of cryptocurrencies anywhere but in the blog post, Kyle Samani posted this chart.

Status: True.
Wasn’t able to find the explicit Gini coefficients of cryptocurrencies but the chart shows a massively disproportionate wealth distribution in the top 500 addresses (which are most likely owned by less than 500 people. just splitting up the wallets).

But this claim has room for improvement because maybe the Gini coefficient is not the best measure of decentralization or inequality. I’ve read good criticisms on Twitter and online like this one:


Claim #1: As part of the SEC settlement, ParagonCoin has to refund all ICO particpants who make a claim.
Status: True

Claim #2: Core RChain developers have left and the project has been forked.
Status: Unknown

Claim #3: 1% of Ethereum’s Total Supply was locked in MakerDAO Smart Contract on 11/16/2018

We can see the pooled ETH supply is ~1.2m and and total ETH supply is ~103m.
Status: True


Claim: Nvidia Stocks plunged in 2018 due to Crypto bear market.



Status: False


Claim: Bitcoin use in commercial payments has collapsed in 2018 from the previous year


Data from Chainalysis Inc reports bitcoin payments collapsed to $96 million in September 2018 from a December 2017 high of $427 million


This is one of the metrics I could find which could justify this claim. This is a comparison graph between bitcoin transaction volume & bitcoin payment count from the blockchain data.

Bitcoin Transaction volume is calculated as the sum of all transaction outputs belonging to the blocks mined on the given day.
Bitcoin Payment count is defined as the sum of outputs’ count minus one for each transaction.

At Dec 2017 the bitcoin transaction volume is 48 billion and payment count is 709k
At Nov 2018 the bitcoin transaction volume is 8 billion and payment count is 407k

Status: Can be challenged


Claim: The Peoples Bank of China in their paper, stated that no technology would ever be able to disrupt the monetary system we’ve come to know over decades and they also believe that blockchain tech would not result in any true, substantial differences in the ways that traditional financial protocols currently operate.


Evidence: an opinionated statement with words such as “ever” and “any”. There has happened plenty of innovation in the history of money (longer time period) and in the history of technology (shorter time period) so there’s no evidence to expect that not to continue.

Status: This is a forecast, an opinion and a belief, not a valid claim


Claim: Price manipulation using Tether accounted for at least 50% of Bitcoin’s price surge in 2017



Verdict: In progress


Claim: Why is Net Neutrality the Key to Scaling Blockchains? A new Medium post (by… me) explaining how bloXroute Labs help scale all #blockchains and why net neutrality is the key.

Source :

Evidence: The statement is up to be challenged because is no clear evidence to refute this claim nor validated. This quote from the white paper put the claim into question _emphasized text_In this paper, we add a protocol-agnostic networking solution that solves the blockchain scalability problem without changing the existing blockchain model and leaving the current system design intact.

Status: Challenge, the statement is a self referential to is own set of specification, is Net Neutrality affecting public blockchain (DLTs) like Bitcoin,Ethereum, etc…,that probably true. As for private blockchain the statement is probably untrue because we have different set of specification.


Claim: More than 60% of Belgian banks think banks could become irrelevant in the future because of innovations like blockchain tech. More than 40% think virtual currencies are a threat to their business.


Evidence :

Claim 1 (+60% think that bank become irrelevant…): True: 6% says that’s it highly probable that banks will become disintermediated, 56% think that it’s possible.
Claim 2 (+40% think virtual currencies are a threat…): True: 12% see virtual currencies as a major threat. 30% see it as a minor threat.


Claim : Following claim was made on Nov 21, 2018.

  • 5 public equities(Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) lost more investor money in the last 60 days than all 2,000+ cryptos did all year.

Source :

Evidence :


Above data is from

Above data is from

  • Difference from Nov 21 to beginning of the year = 144 - 612 = -468 billion
  • Bonus : Difference from Nov 21 to all time high Jan 7th = 144 - 831 = -687 billion

Status :



This is so good!! Great job.


Claim: The Indian state of Karnataka is working to protect businesses operating in regulatory grey areas, including businesses that transact in bitcoin.


Evidence: According to the Economic Times, Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge mentioned the following at a WeWork event for startup entrepreneurs:

“We should come up with policies on priority so that business grows and economic becomes vibrant. For example, bitcoins are traded in restaurants in Bengaluru, and we will need to interact with the government and get a regulatory clarity instead of banning those technologies for which regulations are not yet in place"

The above statement by Kharge does indicate that the state of Karnataka has a desire to help businesses that use bitcoin operate with regulatory clarity.

However, two key points should be noted:

  • Kharge says that the state of Karnataka is working on putting together an Innovation Authority that would protect consumer-friendly technology businesses that are operating in regulatory grey areas, but the Innovation Authority is not yet a thing, and no such regulatory clarity to help cryptocurrency business currently exists

  • The claim is entirely dependant on Kharge’s word at the moment.

Status: Probable but not confirmed. TBD once the Karanataka Innovation Authority is actually up and running.


How could we correct this story to be a better story? For example, I read the source and the claim made in it is actually that:

An Indian minister has reportedly revealed that the [Karnataka] state government is working to protect businesses operating without a regulatory framework in India. They include cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto-accepting merchants.

Since the article does state that, we can use this claim as the story (rather than the vague headline).


Wao! so clear and relevant


Claim : Hospital Coin claims to have their first App on testnet. This includes front- and backend with 7 roles (i.e., finance manager, doctor, nurse, medical records officer) [ Focus on testnet ]

Source of Claim :

Evidence :

I followed up on HospitalCoin’s github repository to see what it contained:

Using a previewer, I opened their Web Miner and clicked on Block Explorer. Source:

Status: True. As of this writing (November 24, 22:57PM, Bangkok Time) there appears to be very recent activity on their blockchain supporting their claim that a Testnet is indeed live. Source:

Screenshot of transaction activity, here:


Claim (pt 2 ): Hospital Coin claims to have their first working Application, and in a follow-up tweet, they are looking for testers for 7 roles in their ‘hospital application platform’ (ie., Finance, Finance Manager, Imaging Technician, Inventory Manager, Lab Technician, Medical Records Officer, Nurse, Doctor). [ Focus on Application ]

Source of Claim :

Evidence (Forthcoming) :

Status: TBU. Their App requires a login with a username and password, I volunteered to test, waiting to hear back, but the Application frontend is in working order.

This is the site of their application:


Very curious to see if it is in fact possible to be a tester. keep us updated!


Ah okay I see what you’re saying, that makes sense. I had a misunderstanding of what claims are supposed to be, and figured it’s the headlines that we are supposed to be tackling. It makes sense to be as specific as possible with the claim for it to have a better chance of being true vs false. I’ll edit my post!


Korean fake exchange Pure Bit lured investors in with promises of a rewarding ICO then mysteriously vanished, taking 13,000 worth of ETH with them.


Purebit website was down. Internet wayback machine allows to trace back website on Nov 8 and obtained Pure Bit public address for ICO deposit.
Wallet address for Purebit ICO. Etherscan confirmed address as fake phishing. On Nov 9, the phishing address has completed two outward transactions to two other scam addresses, totaling 13678 Ethers.