Best TruStories of the Week - #5


I wonder what the criteria for choosing their “most valued customers”, for example, if you had a Kraken account but have a small volume of trades, that probably isn’t enough to satisfy the requirements


While I read through this, I came across two reasons -

  1. FOMO - Banks specially have a certain fear of missing out (Bank of America accepted this as well)

  2. Avoid patent wars/trolling at later stage - See certain players like nChain who are pretty much filing 5-10 patents a month. This seems to hold a very limited logic


Claim: 2018 Brought 54 Million new crypto users despite bear market.

Category: Use cases


Evidence/Argument: As evidence, the author cited a study out of the University of Cambridge. Another article from Business Insider, also citing a University of Cambridge study, claimed that crypto users hit a peak in 2018 of 34 million users. So can both be true? Maybe. The claim that 54 million new users reflects user accounts in the Cambridge study. But, the Cambridge study states that there are at least 35 million identity-verified users. The study specifies that “user accounts are not necessarily equivalent to users.” Therefore, the claim that there are 54 million new users, which is itself an undefined term, is unconfirmed.

Status: Unconfirmed


For this claim, I think it should be Rejected because the researchers themselves state that they have no way of knowing how many new accounts are unique users. The claim should be “54 million new accounts,” not users.


Claim : Stanford Professor and founder of Blockchain fund, DHVC, dies after ‘battle with depression’
Category : Projects
(? Zhang Shoucheng was founder of DHVC…too broad? could there be a category for crypto luminaries?)

Source : Reddit post

Evidence/Argument : Shoucheng’s death is confirmed with an obituary listing on
Several eminent sources attribute that his family noted that he was suffering from depression, including In a note to his friends and collaborators on 6 December, Zhang’s family said that the scientist died after “a battle with depression”.

American Physical Society: "His family released a statement saying that he had passed away “after fighting a battle with depression.”

Status : Confirmed


I think that’s a good point. And maybe, more specifically, say that there are 54 million user accounts since that’s the term used in the Cambridge study.

Also, the claim within the articles and study regarding the 35 million users is also questionable since it’s an estimate in the study based off data from several different sources.


Claim : Following 5 claims were made from a blog post on Dec-4, 2018 :

  1. Bitcoin Mining using ASIC, (i.e) ASIC era started in early 2013
  2. Bitcoin’s mining difficulty dropped by 15% on Monday, Dec-3, 2018
  3. The largest drop in Bitcoin’s history was recorded in November 2011 when difficulty decreased by 18%
  4. The mining difficulty drop on Monday, Dec-3, 2018 is the largest drop in a single day the ASIC era
  5. Along with the above claims, following table was presented and it shows the top ten mining difficulty drops(sorted in decreasing order) on a given day.

Category : Mining

Source :

Evidence/Argument :

  1. It is evident that ASIC era began early 2013 from the following two sources.
  1. Blockchain-chart for the given date show the following

    Coinwarz chart shows the following

    Bitcoinity data chart shows the following supporting coinwarz chart

    BitInfocharts shows the following supporting blockchain chart.
  • All the above four charts agree on the drop of difficulty from 6.65 T to 5.65 T around the same time but Blockchain and Bitinfo charts show that the drop happened over 2 days whereas Coinwarz and Bitcoinity charts show that the drop was on a single day Dec3, as specified by source’s claim.
  • Among the above four charts, Bitcoinity and Blockchain have the option to export the data as csv files.
  • Time zone used by Bitcoinity charts is UTC, as found from the CSV file obtained using the export option. Time zone used by Blockchain chart is not known.
  • At this point, let us change the focus from blockchain charts to Bitcoinity chart. I exported difficulty as a csv file (date, difficulty as columns) from Bitcoinity charts(Jan-9, 2009 to today) and calculated the change from Dec3, 2018 to Dec4, 2018.
    Difficulty on Dec3, 2018 00:00:00 UTC = 6650000000000
    Difficulty on Dec4, 2018 00:00:00 UTC = 5650000000000
    Change = ((6650000000000 - 5650000000000) / 6650000000000) * 100 = 15.03 ~ 15
  1. I wrote a program to track maximum difficulty change in a day by giving the exported csv file as input and it gave Oct31, 2011 as the answer.
    Difficulty on Oct31, 2011 00:00:00 UTC = 1468195
    Difficulty on Nov1, 2011 00:00:00 UTC = 1203462
    Change = ((1468195 - 1203462)/1468195)*100 = 18.03 ~ 18

  2. I did a re-run of the program excluding dates before January, 2013(ASIC era) and it gave Dec3, 2018 as the answer.
    Difficulty on Dec3, 2018 00:00:00 UTC = 6650000000000
    Difficulty on Dec4, 2018 00:00:00 UTC = 5650000000000
    Change = ((6650000000000 - 5650000000000) / 6650000000000) * 100 = 15.03 ~ 15

  3. From the two images below, selected line on the left represents the date given by source. Right tick represents the supposedly correct date.

Status :
Assuming the authenticity of Bitcoinity chart

  1. Confirmed
  2. Confirmed
  3. Largest drop seems to be on Oct31, 2011, just a day earlier than Nov1, 2011
  4. Confirmed
  5. Drops seem to be correct but the dates don’t seem to be accurate enough. Reasoning is that if 15% change for dates Dec3, 2018 - Dec4, 2018 fits Bitcoinity chart, it should fit all the previous drops.


Claim : Binance , the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform volume wise, has launched a new platform that aims to help new users become more familiar with not only cryptocurrency but also the blockchain technology.

Category : Projects

Source :

Evidence/Argument : Many different news posts about this with no links to any sources that could confirm it. After a lot of googling was able to find the official post by Binance. It is not a new platform but part of Binance Academy that began operating in August and they are now adding 450 articles and videos in 15 languages to the platform.

Status : Confirmed


Claim : Venezuela has began paying old age pensions in Petros, replacing the Bolivar’s in their citizen’s bank accounts the Petro dollar (XPD) without their consent.

Category : Regulation

Source :

Evidence/Argument :
The elderly routinely receive a message everytime one of the government’s bonuses arrives, but this month it was different. On December 7, they got two messages and it seemed like the money for the pension came in, and then immediately out, with the only description being:

“Saving in petro.”

The messages looked like this:

MOTHERLAND WALLET: CREDIT for an amount of Bs.S. 1,800.00 for the concept of Elderly Love Pensions (Third month Christmas bonus 2018) on 12/07/2018

MOTHERLAND WALLET: DEBIT for an amount of Bs.S. 1,800.00 for the concept of Savings in Petro on 12/07/2018

Status : Confirmed


Claim: Ethereum's top 500 whales have increased their holdings 80% since Jan 2018. They currently own 20 million ETH, valued at $2.3 billion.

Category: Ethereum



Status : Confirmed


@DanielKoff interesting. wait, why did it immediately came out? that’s so strange. I wonder what the Savings are for?


@preethi Traditionally these are pension payments that the elderly save, and use to pay living expenses. What happened here is that millions of pensioners received 1/3 of their pension amount in Petros instead of Bolivars. This Petro pension payment included a so-called “bonus”, since the value in Petros that pensioners received was worth more than standard 1/3 of their pension paid in Bolivars (at current exchange rates).

Personally, I suspect that this so-called “bonus” has been paid to try and create positive sentiment for Petros, as the government attempts to bootstrap Petro adoption and perceived legitimacy via disbursement through a national pension fund. The government of Venezuela is effectively airdropping a token on citizens through the pension system!!

This measure was first announced on December 7th. According to a local paper:

  • On Dec 8th, through a consultation to the elderly made by the National Superintendency of Cryptoactives (Sunacrip), they expressed their satisfaction for the benefits of this measure.”

  • “President Maduro described the incentive as a gift of revolution; for the 4,371,358 senior citizens who enjoy a pension in Venezuela and who can collect this payment in bolivars, save in Petro or exchange it for other cryptocurrencies and convertible currencies, he said. press release of the Sunacrip.”

Some citizens believe the Petro is a revolution for Venezuela that protects purchasing power by providing income stability guaranteed by the state; and that this mechanism thwarts US attacks against the local economy:

  • Jesús Martínez, 62 years old and a worker in the Culture sector, considers President Maduro’s decision "has led the elderly and people with disabilities to have savings capacity that we did not have before, with this measure the State guarantees us the protection of our income. "In his opinion, the Petro guarantees the economic stability of the country and consequently the stability of the Venezuelan family.

  • Ricardo Monsalve, a 62-year-old teacher, described the Petros pension as positive, audacious, revolutionary and unprecedented in the world. “In no other country has a decision like this been implemented, before the ruthless attack of the US empire against the Venezuelan economy”; he said. Monsalve indicates that Petro must be saved, because this cryptocurrency is guaranteed and can be exchanged internationally with convertible currencies such as yuan, rubles and dollars. The savings in Petro preserves the value of our currency. Therefore, I do not hesitate to call all Venezuelans to come to the National Superintendence of Cryptoactives and Related Activities (Sunacrip) to save and protect their income.

Other citizens are against it, claiming that the Petro funds they received are not yet widely accepted and this is complicating their ability to pay for goods and services. They claim that the process of converting from Petro to Bolivars is difficult and has been poorly explained.

  • Luis Cano, representative of the Defense Front for retirees, pensioners, seniors and the elderly, affirmed that the national president did not take into account the conditions of the pensioners of the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS). Helímenas Espina, adviser to the economic commission of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), commented that the situation is complicated for citizens because they do not know how or when to use the money expressed in petros.


@DanielKoff fascinating. seeing both sides of the argument (some citizens for it vs. others against it) makes me wonder what is really going on behind the scenes.

I wonder if people who are for it are being manipulated into thinking it that the Petro is guaranteed somehow? Or whether there are really some provisions in place to guarantee the exchange of Petro for good/services/currencies.


@preethi totally with you. I was unable to find evidence that the Petro is any better collateralized, guaranteed, or ultimately more finite in supply than the Bolivar; nor did I find evidence that any nation on earth is more willing to assign value to a Petro. I suspect this is fodder for the government to sell hope, and ultimately to give themselves more power over citizens as the cash becomes obsolete, and all financial transactions become digital and centrally controlled.


Thanks for putting this together. This is great!


Claim : “Börse Stuttgart Group, the second largest stock exchange in Germany, has selected solarisBank as its technology and banking partner in the development of an upcoming, zero-free cryptocurrency trading platform.”

Category : Use Cases (proposed category: Institutionalization)

Source :

Evidence/Argument : In their official media release ( Börse Stuttgart Group (BSG) states that they have partnered with solarisBank, and that solarisBank will help BSG integrate crypto currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum into their trading portal to be available for BSG users.

Status : Confirmed


Claim : “The Sovrin network is running code contributed by over 150 developers who made over 20K contributions just in the last 12 months.”

Category : Projects (Hyperledger Indy)

Source :

Evidence/Argument : Considering the following Github repositories as the core components of Hyperledger Indy and data retrieved today:

It seems like there are 189 contributors with 16,075 commits in those repositories. But when analyzing closely the last 12 months considering the date of publication of the article, using Github contributors graph, the following figures can be retrieved:

A total of 5,178 commits in the last 12 months can be verified in these 4 repositories, which is way less than the 20K contributions stated. I need to check if there are other repositories which should be included in this analysis.

Status : Unconfirmed (highly unlikely)


Could you argue that by still providing a reward for uncles you increase the likelihood miners participate will continue to participate in mining. This does not increase the work that’s gone into the longest chain, but it does increasing the hash power in the network. Increased hash power in the network increases security and decreases the likelihood of a 51% attack. If you didn’t reward uncles less miners would be rewarded - decreasing the likelyhood miners would continue to participate in the network.


This was true up until recently; with the Byzantium hard fork, EIP 100 was activated, changing the difficulty adjustment algorithm to include uncles in the calculation. Source for this in geth can be found here.


@nicksdjohnson thank you for sharing! I’ll update my claim then. Really good to know :slight_smile: