Best TruStories of the Week - #4


#42

Claim: Crypto start-ups/projects hit by layoffs due to falling cryptocurrency prices

Source:

Evidence:
So far this is the list of crypto-startups/projects which has planned/confirmed/affected layoffs

Steemit
ETCDev - One of the Ethereum Classic Development group
SpankChain
Consensys
Kraken
Civil
Coinfloor

Steemit:

This is the video post from Steemit CEO Ned Scott confirming the news:

Also, there is an update on Steemit

ETC Dev:
ETC Dev is a development group for Ethereum Classic and has confirmed shutting down their services due to lack of funding. They seem to have some conflict with the core Ethereum Classic development group as well.

Spankchain
Spankchain is a blockchain based adult website has confirmed downsizing atleast 30% of their workforce.

Consensys
Consensys which is an international blockchain firm has not confirmed any layoffs but CEO Joseph Lubin has confirmed they are going for restructuring which involves shutting down underperforming projects and possible layoffs.
https://www.ccn.com/ethereum-giant-consensys-tightens-belt-will-axe-underperforming-projects/

Kraken
US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has confirmed laying off employees.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-06/crypto-exchange-kraken-reduces-staff-amid-digital-downturn

Civil
Civil is a blockchain based media startup which promotes community-based journalism has not confirmed layoffs but some of the journalists hired during the launch said they have not received their salary paid in CIVIL tokens since their token launch failed and CIVIL has not fully refunded the token amount.
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/employees-at-blockchain-identity-startup-civil-reportedly-are-not-receiving-their-pay/

Coinfloor
Coinfloor is one of the oldest crypto-exchange based in the UK has confirmed laying off most of its employees.
https://www.ccn.com/london-cryptocurrency-exchange-coinfloor-announces-layoffs-amid-prolonged-bear-market/

Status: True
The layoffs are not extensive across global crypto markets but are happening in some of them. Others seem to have reserves to run for a longer time.


#43

Claim: The Wyoming legislative committee passed a blockchain banking bill 13-1.

Brief Detail: The bill details a new type of financial institution named a “Special Purpose Depository Bank” which will provide banking services for blockchain based projects in Wyoming.

Sources:

Notes: Multiple news articles refer to banking industry opposition to this bill.
E.g., “Despite serious opposition from the banking industry,” “despite heavy opposition from the banks,” etc.
I was unable to find anything concrete as to the nature or degree of opposition to the bill by banks. It appears that all the headlines referencing the opposition stem only from Caitlin’s tweet. For this reason, as well as the issue the “heavy” and “serious” opposition are hard to invalidate, I chose to lop off that part of the claim.

Status: True.


#44

Claim(s): Coinbase is (1) trademarking the term BUIDL (2) for a crypto-related SAAS

Sources:
CoinDesk and others

Direct source: 10/2/18 filing on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website
Note: Application specifies filing for international class 042 (science and technology services)

Evidence/Research:
Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan tweeted that he and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong are giving back to the community and it was a “defensive filing”.
22%20PM

Evidence that supports Srinivasan’s response that the filing was defensive:
CEO Brian Armstrong wrote a blog post in September 2015 titled How We Think About Patents At Coinbase in which he stated,

Our ultimate goal in obtaining bitcoin related patents is to keep them out of the hands of bad people, use them defensively to protect Coinbase from patent trolls, and help ensure the bitcoin ecosystem continues to grow.

and

As Coinbase grows, it will not be a matter of if, but when, we get patent trolls coming after us trying to extract hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, we’ve already seen one. One of the best ways to defend against patent trolls is to build your own portfolio of patents, and this is exactly what we are doing

Status:

  1. True - Coinbase has filed a trademark application that is still active
  2. False - Coinbase has no plan to create a feature/product with BUIDL name; the application was filed solely as a defensive measure against bad actors.

#45

Fair points. I haven’t seen any companies publicly disclose using Bitcoin in favor of off shore banks (not sure they would reveal that even if their were). Although there does seem to be a fair amount of interest in exploring Bitcoin as an alternative option:

Here’s a site (and thread) devoted to Corporate Offshore activity: https://www.offshorecorptalk.com/threads/bitcoin-friendly-banks-or-emis.22635/

An emerging consultancy around this topic (we may see more): https://www.icoservices.com/news/bitcoin-vs-offshore-bank-account-where-should-i-protect-my-asset.html

Agree with your point around volatility, it makes no sense to transfer corporate assets into such volatility and some crypto projects that did not diversify their asset base (meaning they kept ALL their assets in crypto) are experiencing liquidity issues in the down turn.

I’m not sure if I heard Ari Paul make this claim in the interview with Laura Shin, but I have heard others make the claim that “over time” Bitcoin volatility will go down.

Fortunately for us, we can see such volatility over time: https://bitvol.info/

If you look at Bitcoin Price in USD and click “All” (since it’s inception), you can visually see the volatility spikes diminish somewhat. This may change, but it does appear to be trending towards less volatility. I’d be interested to revisit this chart when 95-98% of Bitcoin blocks have been mined (i think 2023 is the target year)


#46

Story: @USTreasury has added two Bitcoin addresses to its list of sanctioned parties. This list has been typically reserved for enemies of state such as Osama Bin Laden.

Source:: https://twitter.com/msantoriESQ/status/1067843160041082880

  • Claim #1: US Treasury has added two Bitcoin addresses to its list of sanctioned parties.

  • Claim #2: This list has been typically reserved for enemies of state such as Osama Bin Laden.

  • Date claim made on Twitter: November 28, 2018

  • Date of the press release by U.S. Department of Treasury on Topic: November 28, 2018.
    An excerpt from the press release:

“While OFAC routinely provides identifiers for designated persons, today’s action marks the first time OFAC is publicly attributing digital currency addresses to designated individuals.”
Two Bitcoin addresses were used as identifiers for individuals for designated persons. I’m unsure if that translates to being officially added on the “list” of sanctioned parties.

As for the second claim, it is necessary to the definition of an enemy of the state:

Definition of an enemy of the state: (https://definitions.uslegal.com/e/enemy-of-the-united-states/): According to 50 USCS § 2204 [Title 50. War and National Defense; Chapter 39. Spoils of War], enemy of the United States means any country, government, group, or person that has been engaged in hostilities, whether or not lawfully authorized, with the United States.

Status: Confirmed

Though the overall claim is, in my opinion, somewhat sensational and misleading, it’s, to an extent true. Most interesting to me is the potential future legal implications for persons linked to the bitcoin addresses that are now used to identify the two individuals mentioned in this press release: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm556


Best TruStories of the Week - #5
#47

interesting to see two different claims made about the same topic. For example, @JohnStuckey did a story on this last week: Best TruStories of the Week - #3 but his claim was around whether compliance obligations are the same for fiat vs. crypto.

Given that these addresses were added to the list, we can say this claim is Confirmed :slight_smile:
.


#48

Claim: A Blockchain ecosystem is being built in South India - everything from events, education and mentorship programming

Source: https://www.ccn.com/south-indian-governments-innovation-society-to-promote-blockchain-development/

Analysis: The state of Andhra Pradesh is really harnessing innovation of blockchain development. Wonderful to know that these initiatives are taking place to keep India within the game, and see how blockchain can work in the government sector as well as other sectors of daily life.

“In association with Eleven01, the organisation will explore the prospects of the blockchain technology through events, activities and mentorship programs to nurture talent and develop a community. The alliance will focus on fostering the creation of the finest blockchain development ecosystem in Andhra Pradesh.”

this is excellent for India for many reasons. By having an organization and a state that is fostering blockchain development, many things can arise from it. Personally the most intriguing to me would be how blockchain and crypto can aid help with villages in India. Having access to these communities can be a great testing point to see how blockchain and crypto can work throughout the rest of the country.

“The association with the government of Andhra Pradesh is quite invaluable to our team. We visualise India to be a blockchain-hub and the support from the state here brings us a step closer to achieving that. Together, we will contribute towards the development of the best blockchain-ready talent pool and innovations in the state.”

Evidence: https://www.coindesk.com/indian-state-to-boost-local-blockchain-ecosystem-with-mentorships-events

Status: Confirmed
“We visualize India to be a blockchain-hub and the support from the state here brings us a step closer to achieving that. Together, we will contribute towards the development of the best blockchain-ready talent pool and innovations in the state.”


#49

@asusarla this claim is a big ambiguous. We should clarify in the claim what we mean by “innovations”. Any specific examples that can added to the claim?


#50

@preethi, should I edit the status to confirmed.


#51

yes :slight_smile: … of course, in the real app, we’d allow the weighted consensus to decide :wink:


#52

Claim: Coinbase is attempting to trademark the term “buidl” but it claims the trademark won’t be enforced

Source: https://www.ccn.com/coinbase-cto-buidl-trademark-will-be-given-back-to-crypto-community/

Analysis: Buidl is a misspelling of the word build. It is widely seen as a phrase used to emphasize the importance of building the infrastructure of cryptocurrency. Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan stated that as far as he knows he was the first one to use the term anyway in an April 2015 talk he gave before he joined Coinbase. https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1070830466989678592 Balaji also tweeted that Coinbase filed the tradmark because they had planned to build a feature called Coinbase BUIDL and didn’t want to get sued by patent trolls. https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1070830339084316672 However, as of now Coinbase has not withdrawn its trademark application for the term buidl https://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn88140352&docId=RFA20181005081748#docIndex=0&page=1 and if it receives the trademark it could always change its mind and choose to enforce it in the future.

Status: Confirmed


#53

:grin: This claim is totally true! The company I consult for (Omega Grid) got invited by Andhra Pradesh’s government to speak about how blockchain can improve India’s energy grid.


#54

How you can do this! I learned from you.


#55

@matt this is a duplicate of this one by @Pam

It’s totally okay to analyze the same claim as others. In the real TruStory app, this is in fact encouraged so that multiple arguments, evidence, and perspectives are put on the table. The app will make it easy to do this.

Since Discourse is a little bit less structured, for now, instead of creating a new post, you can simply reply to the existing claim with your own argument/evidence. In this case, for example, you would reply to @Pam’s post with your analysis.

hope this helps! :slight_smile:


#56

Claim: Switzerland’s telecom provider and post office are the first private blockchain to be operated jointly by two entities.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/swiss-post-swisscom-launch-100-swiss-blockchain-infrastructure

Evidence: I’ve been searching for a while, but couldn’t find joint entities operating a private blockchain. It got me thinking about IBM’s private blockchain. They do operate several private blockchains with clients where I presume the client owns the blockchain. Example of this is here with a partnership with SecureKey and IBM. They both are operating on it but I do not know if IBM’sblockchain solutions are considered operators even though they are responsible for implementation. Any thoughts?

Status: Unconfirmed.


#57

@HelloRena since these are private blockchains, there’s no way to validate that these are running except with official statements from either company. Right?


#58

@asusarla I did some digging around with Eleven01’s public statements, and, as far as I can tell, I think the claim they are making is that their blockchain technology will allow for (future, as yet unspecified) innovations in India’s public sector. Other than being a blockchain project created in India - and thus allowing Indian groups to buy nationally, should they so choose - I don’t see any claims from the company to significant innovations in blockchain technology itself.


#59

that is so cool! i really want to research more into the global space on how blockchain and crypto can add benefits to humanity. the more i think about it, the more my brain explodes!! :slight_smile:


#60

gotcha! thanks for refuting my claim, and teaching me how to word my claims and research better! :slight_smile:


#61

Claim: Cryptocurrency is Banned in India

Source: https://www.zeebiz.com/india/news-why-were-cryptocurrencies-banned-in-india-even-rbi-has-no-answer-all-details-here-50964

Evidence/Argument: Cryptocurrency is not banned in India. As per the last press release released by RBI on 5th April’18, it did not prohibit individuals from buying/selling any cryptocurrencies. What they did state was that any bank that comes under the central bank cannot deal with entities dealing with cryptocurrencies which is essentially a bank.

From the link above:
“with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs. Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.”

Status: False