Best TruStories of the Week - #3


For this claim, there’s a reddit link in the tweet which seems to be Vitalik indeed verifying this. Can anyone verify his Reddit handle?


As society develops, lower classes gradually gain access to the same things as the rich. Now poor and rich already eat essentially the same food and wear essentially the same clothes. Not too long ago, it wasn’t so. Modern financial instruments for poor are mostly inferior. Libraries of investment modules based on programmable legal entities will radically change this situation.


I love the options proposition, good job:sunglasses:


Claim : Before founding Ethereum, Vitalik put considerable effort in 2013 into trying to convince investors to fund him in constructing a quantum computer to mine Bitcoin.

Source :

Evidence/Argument : In a r/btc Reddit comment , Vitalik confirms strong interest in a quantum computing project in 2013. He has previously tweeted direct links to his Reddit comments that confirm his username. (h/t @Edwin)

Note: I suspect that the author of the tweet (@danheld) was referencing this deleted Reddit comment where Gregory Maxwell makes the claim:

"Vitalik’s project immediately before Ethereum is that he was collecting investments from people to fund building a computer program to solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time, supposedly by simulating a quantum computer. "

Status : Partially true? I haven’t found evidence of the “considerable effort” in convincing investors but Vitalik has confirmed strong interest in the project.



Claim: South Korea will test blockchain based online voting.
The South Korea Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Election Commission (NEC) will begin testing a blockchain-based voting system next month with the goal of increasing the security and transparency of online voting. To test the system the ministry will begin by running trials such as surveys.
Notes: When reading the original article from the Korea Times, you may get the impression the blockchain based voting system is almost complete. But a more careful reading indicates that although the blockchain itself is scheduled to be completed next month, the voting system built on top of it will go through more testing and trials before it is ready for prime time.


good analysis. Yeah, I thought the claim is saying they are ready to start testing it for voting. good catch!

How can we update this claim to be less ambiguous and more accurate? @jtierney


Thanks! Perhaps a more precise claim would be something like this:
Claim: South Korea is considering trials for blockchain based online voting


Claim: Ethereum core developer groups planning to launch Ethereum 1x prior proposed Ethereum 2.0 launch


Evidence: A github ethereum 1.x meeting agenda can be seen here -

The call happened on Nov 30 2018 followed a new pattern where call was not live-streamed or recorded but unattributed notes will be published.

Unconfirmed twitter feeds confirm that four of the core Ethereum developer groups are working on specific aspects of Ethereum technology to launch a more robust version estimated by Jun 2019 named Ethereum 1.x

Status: True


Claim: The decrease in Bitcoin’s price in 2018 from $20k to $4k has led to mining hardware that was produced and put online in China in 2018 to no longer be profitable to operate


Evidence Against:

Verdict: False


Claim: The decrease in Bitcoin’s price in 2018 from $20k to $4k has led to about half of Bitcoin mining hardware being taken offline.



Verdict: True


Claim – Jay Clayton, chairman of US SEC, emphasized that all ICOs must register with SEC to ensure US law compliance. SEC views many tokens as securities and hence should comply with US law

Source -

Evidence -

Verdict – True

Analysis - 4 takeaways from SEC press release:

  1. Offer/sales should for digital assets - Should be compliant by law and this is mostly to avoid fraud. E.g. - Airfox and Paragon
  2. Investment vehicles investing in digital asset securities should follow registration and regulation frameworks
  3. Exchange registration is mandatory as a broker or a dealer, even if these are decentralized exchanges
  4. Above also true for ICOs and also for third parties if they are distributing ICO tokens





Claim : Bitcoin Price Ends November With Worst Monthly Decline in 7 Years

Source :

Evidence/Argument :
The world’s largest cryptocurrency began November at an average price across exchanges of $6,341, but as of 0:00 UTC on December 1 is trading at just $3,964.

The near $2,400 drop in bitcoin’s price has created a -37.4% monthly performance, which is its worst on record since August 2011, when it fell from roughly $8 to $4.80 to print a -40 percent monthly loss.

Status : True

(Luckily we’re all in it for the tech :slight_smile: )


Thanks for breaking that down


Story: Journalists on Civil have yet to receive all of the compensation they say they were promised when hired.


Status: Flagged as ambiguous.

Evidence/Analysis: Jay Cassanno retweeted an article/tweet stating that undelivered tokens made up 70% of his salary for 5 months at the Civil-owned Sludge news outlet.

In the same Twitter thread, Civil CEO Vivian Schiller stated that Civil has been “making the payments we promised newsrooms.” and that “tokens will be distributed…once we launch. All materials clearly state that token value cannot be guaranteed.”

Civil’s token sale is still pending, so as of yet newsrooms and their journalists haven’t received the token portion of comp, but it doesn’t seem that they were given a guaranteed timeline for compensation. Without a deadline, unless/until a successful token sale does occur or if Civil cancels future plans for a sale, this claim cannot be proven false OR true.


Claim: Shell Oil, British Petroleum, and other oil companies have launched a blockchain based petroleum trading platform named Vakt. The aims of Vakt include streamlining the trading process by eliminating paperwork and creating new trade finance opportunities. They plan to begin with a small group of trading firms related before opening up to outside oil companies in early 2019.


Status: True with the caveat that despite having “launched,” no trades have taken place yet (as of 12-01-2018).


Claim: CoinShares report - Renewable energy accounts for 77.6% of total Bitcoin’s energy usage.


Research report:


CoinShares Hypothesis

  1. In China, certain regions have excessive surplus of energy (aka curtailment)
  2. Miners choose to operate in regions of high curtailment rate due to cheaper electricity cost
  3. Curtailment is used as the electricity source for mining, and a good portion of curtailment is derived from renewable energy.

According to the following table, within a region, [Global mining share x Renewables penetration = Share of renewables for mining]. This is how the 77.6% is calculated.

However, 2 major logical fallacies that disprove the calculation:

  1. The calculation fully assumes that global Bitcoin mining (both China and Western) is powered by energy curtailment.
  2. The calculation fully assumes that renewable penetration ratio determines the portion of renewable energy in the curtailment.

Status: Falsified


Claim: SEC Charges DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather Jr for Promoting Centra’s ICO Illegally


Mayweather SEC Order -

Khaled SEC Order -

Status: True


Claim: Bitcoin transactions are not reversible


Evidence / Argument: Technically, Satoshi Nakomoto only claimed that Bitcoin transactions are “Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse” If one is able to control the majority of computers (nodes) mining Bitcoin he could “defraud people by stealing back his payments”. However, one who controls the majority of nodes would have a strong incentivize to play by the rules because any modified transactions would be noticed since they’re recorded on the blockchain and if people stopped trusting the bitcoin blockchain then his ability to earn 50+% of Bitcoin’s becomes essentially worthless.

Currently, the largest Bitcoin mining pool owns 29.6% of the nodes mining Bitcoin.

Verdict: False

How will TruStory's UI handle story's where the context matters?

@matt Are you suggesting this is false because they are only irreversible if no one owns <50% of hash power?