Best TruStories of the Week - #2


#23

Claim

According to a recent report, Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, a popular retail business has made it known that the company will sell off its retail business and move fully into the blockchain space.

Source:

Evidence:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/overstocks-founder-bets-on-blockchain-not-bedsheets-1542969001?emailToken=579962329bdb93b7214cb5d03f8c14f0dvZaiwp+O6VCPTuAi/1phLNsFxFcxpQkIDsYx31AKf5b7qo2jyxO+gol6yqdQ99T7MQEJbL5icke3hmjrHP+tCj+UnyoHztYqxYdphNiB6g%3D&reflink=article_copyURL_share&ns=prod/accounts-wsj

Patrick Byrne interviewed with WSJ, only claiming that “I don’t care whether tZero (his ICO project) is losing $2 million a month”, “We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”

No video footage available yet for the WSJ interview to confirm Byrne’s statement. Furthermore, there’s no evidence that Byrne claim to sell off Overstock business and go all into crypto.

Status:

TBD, tending to be fake.


#24

Claim Making Selfish mining Non profitable by giving priority to most proof-of-work blocks.

Source https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/new-approach-thwarting-selfish-bitcoin-miners/

Evidence https://arxiv.org/pdf/1805.08281.pdf

“Selfish mining is an attack on the Bitcoin protocol, but the arguments present in
the literature do not properly justify the attack .The attack exploits a flaw in the difficulty adjustment formula. The parameter used to update the mining difficulty is supposed to measure the actual hashing power of the network. In the presence of a selfish miner, this is no longer true.
We have proposed a formula that corrects this anomaly by taking into account the
production of orphan blocks. We propose to reinforce the protocol which states that
the official blockchain is the chain which contains the most proof-of-work by requiring
peers to give priority to those containing the most proof-of-work (with ”uncles”).”

Verdict Unknown


#25

Claim: Thailand Proves Crypto Can Win Adoption Even in Military Dictatorships

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/thailand-proves-crypto-can-win-adoption-even-in-military-dictatorships

Evidence: International Monetary Fund

“And considering that the Thai economy actually contracted following the 2014 coup, it’s clear that crypto is far too big an opportunity for any Thai government to neglect. This is especially true when fears surrounding economic growth persisted to the beginning of this year, as Thailand failed to match GDP increases enjoyed by neighboring Vietnam and the Philippines.”

I think presently and with years to come crypto witll be a global competition. those countries that aren’t participating in the “crypto-craze/game” will feel threatened to other countries economic and social power. they will all want to join the “club”.

Verdict: True


#26

Claim: The entire cryptocurrency market is now worth less than McDonald’s

Source: https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/11/23/mcdonalds-cryptocurrency-blockchain-bitcoin/

Evidence: The author provides, within the story, screenshots from ycharts.com and CoinMarketCap.com showing respective market caps for McDonald’s ($140.5B) and the crypto market ($139.8B).

Status: True…
However, note that the CoinMarketCap screenshot in the article did not contain a date; the website doesn’t specify it like ycharts.com does. (I made sure to hover over my calendar to show the date in the screenshot I took today, see below vv)

NOTE: This story was published on 11/23/2018. I went back to both websites today (11/24) to see where the respective numbers stand:

McDonald’s Market Cap 11/24/18 though screenshot still notes 11/23: $140.3B

Crypto Market Cap 11/24/18: $127.3B

Why is this a good/bad claim?
It’s GOOD because it’s specific and falsifiable. Market caps are quickly verifiable. It’s also GOOD because McDonald’s is a well-known global brand, so the comparison is easy for people to grasp.

It’s bad for a few reasons: its appearance in the news cycle could potentially outlive its “true” status. Even though this article was published a day ago, this story was the 8th when I Googled “cryptocurrency.” The title is so eye-catching that it could easily appear in search a week from now and/or be rehashed by other news outlets when there’s the potential for this claim NOT to be true. Still, its verifiability won’t change, so overall I think GOOD.


#27

This makes me really sad to read. Thanks for digging this up, Eddy!


#28

Wow, Great find! I’d like to correct the claim you drafted to make it more specific and debatable. After reading the source, there’s a couple claims in here we can tackle:

  1. Since the damage of selfish mining is done by invalidating or orphaning honest blocks to lower the difficulty artificially, the solution is to examine this wasted hash rate in the formula for the adjustment of difficulty.

  2. Pérez-Marco says that without a difficulty adjustment, the honest mining strategy still ranks as the most profitable one, as selfish mining tends to be costly.

The obstacle with the claim you created is that it was a little hard to understand at first sight. I didn’t know what you meant by “most proof-of-work blocks” since this was not the wording used in the post. I see exactly what you mean now, but other users might have read it and been confused by your interpretation / summarization. Sometimes it’s okay to summarize claims to make them more readable and easy to digest, but not to the extent that it becomes too far from the original claim or hard to understand.

I hope this helps! :slight_smile: … again, great find!


#29

Hi Aarthi. I’m going to correct your claim a bit to make it more interesting, specific, and debatable. After reading the source, there’s a couple claims in here we can tackle:

  1. The military junta of Thailand revealed and acted on plans to legalize ICOs, to authorize crypto-exchanges, and also to enforce regulation that legitimizes crypto.

  2. The central Bank of Thailand issued an order to the country’s banks in February, requesting that they stop directly dealing with any company that trades or works with cryptocurrencies.

  3. In the week ending February 17 (the same week that the Bank of Thailand issued an order to banks to stop dealing with cryptocurrency companies), 113 Bitcoins were traded for Thai baht (THB) on the Local Bitcoins exchange.

  4. The SEC confirmed that it had already authorized seven companies to operate as exchanges and/or carry out crypto-related business in the country.

  5. The Bank of Thailand’s governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob said in a November interview that he expects that the country and its financial institutions will need three to five years to make the “switch” to digital currencies.

  6. The Bank of Thailand’s governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob, revealed that the central bank was looking into the possibility of issuing its own cryptocurrency for the purposes of enabling faster interbank settlements.

The obstacle with your original claim is that it’s ambiguous. If we can narrow in and be a bit more specific, not only do the claims get more interesting, but they also become more easily falsifiable.

I hope this helps! :slight_smile:


#30

Claim: TRON has “More DApp usage” comparing to ETH
Source: https://twitter.com/TronNews_/status/1066344330045083649
Evidence: https://dappradar.com/dapps & https://dappradar.com/tron-dapps
Total TRON dapp users in the last 24h: 1940 users in 10 dapps (#11 and below have 0 users)
ETH dapp users in the last 24h: 2851 users in top-5 dapps (and there are much more dapps)
Status: False
NB1: Of course they could claim that by “usage” they meant not “users” but say “amount of txs”, but then any platform could run a bot that would pump txs and claim that their platform is #1
NB2: To some extent the same could be said about the amount of users, some parties claim that these numbers can be and are pumped… but that’s another story


#31

Similar in Vietnam when bitconnect come to play, it has destroyed many many families in there, because of misinformation, fake news everywhere even on mainstream media. I am so sad too.


#32

ahhhh! thank you for your feedback! ill try to do better next time! :slight_smile:


#33

Claim: Ethereum Developers Are Quietly Planning an Accelerated Tech Roadmap

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/ethereum-developers-are-quietly-planning-an-accelerated-tech-roadmap

Evidence: The article is based on a minutes of the meeting published by Greg Colvin

Incidentally, Ethereum Core Devs Meeting 50 Agenda has reference to the above coindesk article in one of the agenda items for discussion.

Status: Probable but not confirmed.


#34

Thank you preethi for all the suggestions, As you rightly point out my indeed initial motive was to make it readable and easy to digest. I hard a tough time summarization it, but will surely keep in mind to not make it hard to understand. :slightly_smiling_face:


#35

Hi Srinivas. Some quick feedback on your claim. Rather than just pulling the headline and creating a story out of it, it’s better to read the source and pull the claim from the body. This helps remove any ambiguity (titles can be ambiguous sometimes) and makes for a more interesting story because you can include crucial detail that isn’t in the title.

For example, in this case, the claim could be that, "Ethereum developers are quietly discussing a previously undisclosed upgrade (called ethereum 1x) that could boost the capabilities of the technology more aggressively by June 2019."

By including a little more detail, we avoid ambiguity and can make it more interesting and fun to read.


#36

Claim: Within a decade, quantum computers will be able to break a blockchain’s cryptographic codes.

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07449-z?utm_source=twt_nnc&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=naturenews&sf202901769=1


#37

Claim: Ohio is “rebranding” itself by becoming the first state in the US to accept Bitcoin for tax payments

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/25/ohio-becomes-the-first-state-to-accept-bitcoin-for-tax-payments/

Evidence: https://cointelegraph.com/news/ohio-appears-to-be-first-us-state-to-accept-bitcoin-for-taxes-wsj-report

So, we all know that the major cities in the U.S. known for tech are bicoastal: Silicon Valley and New York. How has the midwest garnered fame and attention regarding their tech scene. Coming from Chicago, I know the tech scene is big, but not as big as the coasts. With the latest tech it seems easy and almost common sense to rebrand themselves as the “tech capital” by introducing and pushing laws like this. Ohio has allowed, businesses to use crypto as a form of payment for tax purposes. They plan to extend this to individual taxpayers in the future.

Other states that have tried to accept crypto as a form of tax payment have been Arizona, Georgia, and Illinois. The failure for those laws to pass were because of a lack of understanding of both crypto and the currency exchange.

In regards w/ Georgia:
“There was a lack of understanding on what cryptocurrency is, and when I was talking to senators there was that old-school ‘isn’t that what was used to buy drugs?’ [Passing the bill is] going to take educating decision-makers and government regulators on what cryptocurrencies are.”

In regards w/ Arizona:
“The Department shall study whether a taxpayer may pay the taxpayer’s income tax liability by using a payment gateway, such as bitcoin, litecoin or any other cryptocurrency that uses electronic peer-to-peer systems. The Department shall study the conversion of cryptocurrency payments to United States dollars at the prevailing rate after receipt and shall study the process of crediting the taxpayer’s account with the converted dollar amount actually received less any fees or costs incurred by the Department for conversion.”

Status: True…
What I found interesting is how Ohio is taking the dive with businesses first, and then addressing individual taxpayers later. I think once this is implemented, other states will follow suit. This is also a very smart move, because those that are in the tech scene are not attracted to Ohio (i am now)!


#38

Greetings Pam,

The data provided in your post clearly supports that the claim in the headline of the article is true and I agree. I have to admit that I honestly thought it was false until I did the research.

On November 23, 2018, I read the same article with the following URL and decided to do some research: https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/11/23/mcdonalds-cryptocurrency-blockchain-bitcoin/

Here’s the market cap amount for McDonalds on the same date from the listed resource


Here’s the market cap amount for the cryptocurrency market, according to Coinbase, on the same date also:

Astra Rai


#39

Claim: Half of the nodes powering Bitcoin Cash are hosted on Alibaba

Source: https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/11/22/amazon-server-failure-cryptocurrency/

Evidence: https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-cash-network-highly-centralized-49-of-all-nodes-run-on-alibabas-facilities-bitpico/

In the article, hacker group Bitpico released the IP address of nodes on the same server. Twitter user @realLudvigArt cited the serves of the address were hosted by Alibaba but didn’t provide the source.

Status: Potentially true, but not validated


#40

fascinating!! would be really cool to see the evidence to back this up.


#41

If I understand correctly, there are two parts of the vulnerability of bitcoin to quantum attack,

  1. double spending by taking control of 50% computing power.
  2. Attacks on private/secret key: i.e deriving the private key using users public key.

While former one can be easily mitigated by increasing the protocol difficulty level, the latter one is more threatening. The following paper outlined details of the vulnerability of Bitcoin to quantum attacks. Esp.Part B. Attacks on signatures is well analyzed.


#42

Claim: Bitcoin prices will rise to 100,000 by 2021 because of Moore’s Law

Source: https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@crypto-rev/according-to-moore-s-law-by-2021-the-bitcoin-will-rise-to-usd-100-000-201789t192630223z.

Analysis / Evidence: Denis Porto believes Moore’s Law applies to any digital technology. He retroactively analyzed the price of Bitcoin and found that it doubled every 8 months through September 2017 (when this article was written). Assuming that the price of Bitcoin continues to double (which may be untrue as prices have dropped significantly since this was written due to possible speculation in the initial pricing and other factors), the price will reach 100,000 in 2021.

Though some of Porto’s premises clearly no longer hold, I think the idea of applying Moore’s Law to various digital technologies is interesting and I would like to see if his claim holds in 2021 (let’s assume there’s volatility in the doubling pattern and not expect an exact model).