Best TruStories of the Week - #4


#1

Claim : In Block 124724, user midnightmagic mined a solo block to himself which underpaid the reward by a single Satoshi and simultaneously destroyed the block’s fees. This is one of two only known reductions in the total mined supply of Bitcoin.

Source : https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Controlled_supply

Evidence/Argument: There are many different Bitcoin block explorers one could use to analyze a specific block. I used blockchain.com because it is well known and has been around for a long time, so I trust the source. If you inspect the hash of Block #124724, you’ll see that the block reward is 49.99999999 BTC. Meanwhile, other blocks, such as Block #124745 have a block reward of 50 BTC.

This confirms the claim in the first sentence that the block reward in Block #234724 was in fact underpaid by one Satoshi.

Status : Confirmed

NOTE: The claim in the second sentence needs additional analysis. I will let the community hop on it :wink:


#2

Claim : Dan Larimer might start another coin. It will be a currency/payments coin. It will be a privacy coin like Monero. Deflationary like Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin, it won’t have a fixed supply. It’s supply will be “unknowable.”

Source : https://twitter.com/startupswamy/status/1068700544988893184

Evidence/Argument: https://i.redd.it/pg1y4x1wda121.jpg
Yes, it’s true. There are Telegram messages to prove it. In one message, he discusses how he’s in exploratory phrases right now and that he will still be involved at EOS . In a another message, he discusses what the characteristics of this new coin would be. He dubs it “Monereos” and lists out thigs such as “unknowable supply.” Seems interesting.

Status : Confirmed


#3

Claim: Manila residents were paid in Ethereum for cleaning up a heavily polluted beach in the capital city of Philippines’ Polluted Beaches.

Source: https://www.ccn.com/manila-residents-paid-in-ethereum-for-cleaning-up-philippines-polluted-beaches/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Evidence: Article links to actual bounties.network site here where volunteers post their clean-up submission. Each volunteer has a crypto-address, email and date submitted: https://explorer.bounties.network/bounty/1511

I emailed several volunteers directly to inquire if they actually got paid in ETH. Two people responded (note: names omitted for their privacy, but contact information is publicly available in the above bounties.network link). Here is one response:

Status: Confirmed


#4

Claim: This is one of two only known reductions in the total mined supply of Bitcoin

Evidence/Argument:
One way to disprove this claim is by showing that there are more than two known reductions in the total mined supply of Bitcoin.

This post shows that there are at least 8 ways in which the mined supply of Bitcoin was reduced. If we can prove that at least 2 events (excluding to the Block 124724 event) from the post are true, then the claim is falsified.

I pick two events:

  • Block 501726 had no transaction outputs (except a 0-value commitment), losing the entire 12.5 BTC subsidy.
  • Block 526591 didn’t claim half of the block reward, losing 6.25 BTC.

Again, using blockchain.com, we can see that

These prove that in addition to the Block 124724 event, there are at least two more events where Bitcoin’s mined supply was reduced. Thus, the claim that “this is one of two only known reductions in the total mined supply of Bitcoin” is false.

Status: Falsified


#5

Claim: Thailand govt trail’s blockchain technology to track VAT Payments

Source:

Evidence/Argument:

Status: True

Analysis: Key Excerpts from the press release are

  • Blockchain Trails to prevent fraudalent VAT refund claims

  • Project aimed to digital invoice on blockchain platform as proof of purchase for goods and services


#6

Claim: Blockchain based product XYO successfully completes World’s First Relative Location-Based Smart Contract Execution

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181121005080/en/XYO-Network-Successfully-Completes-World’s-Relative-Location-Based

Evidence: The event is true as you can watch and read about in their official Medium post: https://medium.com/xyonetwork/xyo-game-changer-weve-executed-a-smart-contract-with-a-drone-4deb414af67b

Whether XYO completed the “first” location-based smart contract execution on blockchain still need to be investigated.

There are other blockchain projects with use cases for location verification on Ethereum and other blockchain networks.

FOAM and Platin are two of them.


Status: Unconfirmed


#7

Clam: ETCDev, an Ethereum Classic development firm is shutting down.
Sources: https://cryptobriefing.com/etcdev-ethereum-classic/
https://twitter.com/etcdev
Evidence/Argument:
Igor Artmanov, the CEO and founder of ETCDev stated on twitter that he is closing the company immediately. This appears to be true. The only issue that people unfamiliar with ETC development teams may confuse the shuttering of ETCDev with Ethereum Classic itself. There are several other teams working on ETC (e.g. https://ethereumclassic.org/teams/). The way that CryptoBriefing.com uses the word “behind” in the first sentence of their article “A leading development firm behind ETC,” adds to the confusion. I modified the claim by deleting the words “leading” and “behind.” “Leading” may be hard to invalidate. “Behind” could imply that ETCDev is somehow has control or ownership of ETC.
Status: True


#8

Claim : Vertcoin VTC network got 51% attacked with over $100,000 in double spends

Source : https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2018/12/03/long-tail-cryptocurrency-is-51-attacked-vertcoin-edition/

Evidence/Argument : Source points to a blog post by a Security Engineer at Coinbase.

The same blog post describes the recent 51% attack(along with previous attacks) and gives the following details.

  • Common ancestor block for each reorg(4 reorgs in the recent attack)
  • Depth and the length of each reorg
  • The corresponding blocks and the transactions associated with double spending
  • “The approximate total value of the double spends was over $100,000.”

There is more evidence on vertcoin reddit from the development team.

There is no official statement yet regarding the recent attack on Vertcoin Twitter (or) Vertcoin medium

Status: True


#9

Claim: https://twitter.com/crypto/status/1069584766910021632?s=19


#10

nice work @adanguyenx! :heart_eyes:


#11

Great find, @BalajiRp! cool to see.

Quick feedback: In general, we recommend going a little beyond the headline and adding more detail to the claim in order to make it less ambiguous / more interesting. For example, in this case, I read the source and it claims "Thailand’s Revenue Department is considering implementing blockchain to prevent fraudulent VAT refund claims in the country. VAT is a form of consumption tax levied on goods and services."

Using this as the claim would make for a more interesting story on TruStory. Does that make sense? :slight_smile:


#12

Great find, @sijo0703!

Quick feedback on the claim. I would go a little beyond the headline and say "Blockchain based product XYO successfully completed the first live working demo of its decentralized interaction-verification oracle utilizing smart contracts to initiate a transfer of Ethereum when two XYO devices interacted in the real world"

This makes the claim more interesting / less ambigious. :slight_smile:


#13

great analysis! totally agree that “leading” and “behind” makes it seems like Ethereum Classic itself is shutting down. I like the modification you made :ok_hand:


#14

@preethi - Thank you!


#15

Thanks, Makes sense…


#16

Claim: 14 of the world’s top 300 websites are already making money as Brave publishers with BAT token

Source:


Evidence:
The data is retrieved from the site https://batgrowth.com/ which is a site run by https://twitter.com/MaxenceCornet for monitoring Brave/BAT adoption.
If you go to the batgrowth.com site you can get a list of all BAT publishers like YouTube publishers, Twitch publishers, and other website publishers.
But the claim of 14 of the world’s top 300 websites is superficial and there is no exclusive list provided other than this twitter feed image.


The websites listed in the twitter feed are BAT verified publishers which you can confirm in batgrowth.com and this is the only place to confirm that. You can get bat publisher verified by creating an account here and adding your publisher sites. But there is no way to get a list of existing BAT publishers here.
https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org/

I took my personal statement of Brave payments from my brave browser and this is a sample here.

You can see Brave sends BAT token payments for websites which are also not BAT publisher verified. Also, another caveat is that the bat verified publisher will only receive token in their preferred currency if they setup an uphold account correctly, otherwise I am not sure where these tokens go!.

So this claim is a bit superficial on the list of “14 of world’s top 300 websites” but can be considered true since all of those are BAT publisher verified and can technically receive BAT tokens if they have setup their account correct.

Status: True


#17

Claim: Bitcoin mining runs on 78% renewable energy, network-wide.

Source: CoinShares Co. Report

Evidence: The CoinShares report incorrectly assumes that renewable energy penetration rates work as proxies for assessing the energy mix of a given kWh. This fallacy is a result of them not accounting for the intermittence of renewable energy sources: solar power suffers from hourly variability, while wind and even dam power experience seasonal variability. To account for this variability, grid utilities will either offer flat rates or demand-drive variable rates to account for their need to smooth out variability via fossil fuels. What this means is that a) miners can’t time their operations to access free electricity and b) the actual share of renewable energy consumed by the BTC network is far south of 78%.

Citation: Own research captured here.


#18

@preethi Thanks for the feedback! I understood your point here. The claim I tried to falsify is the headline of this journal which says XYO successfully completed the “world’s first relative location based smart contract execution” which I am not sure if XYO really pioneered or some other similar projects like FOAM did before. I think to make the claim to the statement suggested by you will directly refer it to the demo they have done and is easy to prove since there is the video and the transaction should be easy to identify from the Ethereum block explorer.

So that brings me to the question that a claim can be multi-faceted in terms of the number of claims which can be made from a single source. What is TruStory recommendation in such cases?


#19

Claim : Both the US and China have invested large amounts of money into blockchain projects. The USA has a larger quantity of crypto projects which receive less funding on a per project basis, while China has fewer projects overall, but relatively high levels of funding on a per project basis.

Evidence :

A map of the total funding ($) provided to blockchain related project by country:

A map of average deal size ($) per blockchain related project by country:

  • As of October 2018, the US market has 933 blockchain start-ups that have raised $4,487 M, while China has only 61 companies that have raised $1,512 M. However, companies headquartered in China have a higher average valuation ($115.2 M) than companies in the US ($12.6 M).

  • In terms of total raised funding, the Chinese companies also receive more money than companies in other countries. On average, the Chinese blockchain start-ups have raised $24.79 M, while the number is $4.81 M for US companies.

Status : Verified

A related claim : The Chinese government is doing more than the US government to support national efforts at blockchain development, measured by level of government funding and number of patents granted.

Evidence:

Intellectual Property:

  • According to Thomson Reuters and the World Intellectual Patent Organization, China has about 400 Blockchain-related patents, which it has garnered within the past two years. The US and Australia have the second largest number of blockchain patents with 110 and 40 respectively.

Public Funding for BlockChain Development in the USA:

  • Much of the US spend related to blockchain is on chain analysis, rather than research and development.

  • U.S. government agencies reportedly account for $5.7 million out a collective total of $28.8 million that has been invested in blockchain analysis firms to date, Diar states.

  • According to Diar, the vast majority of government deals have been contracted to New York- based blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, which has signed deals with government agencies totalling $5.3 million (out of a total of $17.6 million from all its investors).

Public Funding for BlockChain Development in China

  • Chinese government launched the Blockchain Industrial Park in Hangzhou, in an effort to spend over $1.6 bln on Blockchain projects, 30 percent of which will be funded by the local government.

  • Blockchain appeared in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for the development of information technology, which notes that artificial intelligence and blockchain will build a strategic technological advantage

Sources:
https://public.tableau.com/profile/fan.wen5373#!/vizhome/Blockchain_Companies/MapofFunding


https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2018/06/15/the-feds-are-finally-getting-serious-about.html


Status: Verified


#20

Great question @sijo0703. If the claims are truly separate things, then you can split it up into two different stories. A single article may contain several interesting/worthy claims that each can be analyzed independently. But if the claims are in the same context (“I am the world’s first XYZ”), that is a single claim that is only valid if 1) I am XYZ and 2) I am the world’s first XYZ.