Best TruStories of the Week - #6


#21

Claim: The newly redesigned Brave browser based on Chromium project is 22% faster than old version

Category: Projects

Source: https://brave.com/new-brave-22-percent-faster/

Evidence/Argument: I did a regular speed test for browsers using a free online browser speed test website http://www.speed-battle.com and the results look better for the newer version of Brave browser. I did a bunch of repeat tests and found that the numbers consistently came better for the new browser. Higher score means better performance. Please find the comparison results.

Old Brave Browser based on Muon

Brave: 0.26.0
V8: 6.9.427.23
rev: de4ff2d6931c2b9784fbe5227325cd47f21a3417
Muon: 8.1.8
OS Release: 4.4.0-140-generic
Update Channel: Release
OS Architecture: x64
OS Platform: Linux
Node.js: 7.9.0
Brave Sync: v1.4.2
libchromiumcontent: 69.0.3497.100

New redesigned Brave based on Google Chromium project

Version 0.57.18 Chromium: 71.0.3578.80 (Official Build) (64-bit)

How Brave has arrived at the specified percentage of performance improvement is mentioned in the source post.

Status: Confirmed


#22

I think that we agree on the synthesis, but are interpreting the meaning of “statuses” differently, and and it boils down to the exercise TruStory is running:

I was adhering to the following principles:
Confirmed = The claim is correct beyond doubt
Unconfirmed = There is not enough information to confirm if the claim is correct (or incorrect) beyond doubt
Rejected = The claim is incorrect beyond doubt

As per your interpretation (feel free to correct me if I am wrong):
Confirmed = The claim is correct beyond doubt
Unconfirmed = There is not enough information to confirm if the claim is correct (or incorrect) beyond doubt
Rejected = The claim could be proven to be incorrect (the proof itself is not necessary), as there is information which contradicts the claim

Is above a fair interpretation? A challenge I see with latter interpretation is that there will be a potential overlap between Unconfirmed and Rejected statuses. The presence of information that contradicts a claim would be sufficient to reject the claim (as per above interpretation), but could also mean we do not yet know if the claim is correct or not.

Also the information value generated would be less than the former, which also (additionally) requires the challenger to prove that the claim will be incorrect.

@preethi any additional thoughts on this?


#23

Claim : You May Not Actually Own Your Bitcoin

Category : Regulation

Source : https://cryptonews.com/exclusives/you-may-not-actually-own-your-bitcoin-legal-expert-2986.htm

Evidence/Argument :
The crux of the argument is that courts in England and Wales (and likely the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, and most of India) may not recognize cryptocurrency tokens such as Bitcoin as the individual’s property. Anything that is not recognized as property is not protected by the property law - a law that provides legal protection for property ownership.
The immediate question that comes to mind is why is legal protection important? As cryptocurrencies continue to march towards mainstream adoption, disputes are likely to arise(ex: theft, heirs inheriting cryptocurrency after the individual’s death, divorce). Currently the person who has the private keys controls the account. The outcome in disputes can depend on the property status of the digital token. And currently, the property status of a digital token is grey. The evidence shared in support for this argument are:

There is counter evidence to this claim, at-least in the United States. The IRS treats cryptocurrencies as personal property from a tax perspective (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/virtual-currencies).

Based on the evidence, the original claim seems to be limited in scope to England and Wales currently and does not extend to the United States. But even in England, there doesn’t seem to be a clear distinction one way or the other. One the one hand, people are being asked to pay taxes for bitcoin (by treating it as personal property: https://www.alphr.com/cryptocurrency/1008865/bitcoin-tax-cryptocurrency-hmrc-capital-gains-ethereum), while on the other hand we have this claim made by the author.

This claim requires legal expertise and I’m no lawyer. Until legal experts come to a consensus, this claim is unconfirmed.

Status : [Unconfirmed]


#24

@zareef1992 @Edwin let’s imagine we were using the TruStory app. You have a choice of either:

  1. Backing the claim with some of your Cred if you think it’s mostly true. In which case, you either…
  • You earn a reward of more Cred if the claim doesn’t get Rejected within the lockup period of your backing
  • Lose your Cred if the claim does enter a validation game and gets Rejected, and you kept your True vote
  • Don’t lose or gain anything because the claim does enter a validation game and gets Rejected but you changed your vote to False based on new evidence
  1. Challenging the claim with your Cred if you think it’s mostly false. In which case, you either …
  • Earn more Cred if the claim enters a validation game and gets Rejected
  • Lose your Cred if the claim enters a validation game and gets Confirmed
  • Don’t lose or gain anything because the Challenge threshold isn’t met and so it doesn’t enter a validation game. You’re returned your Cred
  1. Do nothing to begin with.

What would you do in this case?


#25

Well, the first thing I’d do is go here https://youtu.be/-B9mTSZeu68 and soak up this Q&A discussion :wink:


#26

@preethi - i tried reading the “proof of stake” article by vitalik, and it kinda made sense but i also got kinda lost along the way. is there anyway that we could request “breakdowns” of articles we read from you or other experts? i think things would make more sense to me…

with what i did understand though, i do like the “security deposit” method.


#27

Claim : 90% of Monero is already mined.

Category : Mining

Source : https://www.ccn.com/over-90-of-moneros-block-reward-has-been-mined/

Evidence/Argument : Monero has a total supply of 18.4 million coins. Going to CoinStats, that circulating supply as of today (12/20/2018 at 3:48 pm) is 16,660,078 coins. This is would imply 90.54% of the total supply is already circulating.

Status : Confirmed


#28

Claim: Venezuela Forcibly Converts Pensions into Petro

Source: https://bitcoinerx.com/altcoin/venezuela-forcibly-converts-pensions-into-petro/

Category: Use cases

Evidence/argument: The claim is that the Venezuelan government converted old people’s pension money into Petro’s without their permission. Read deeper into the article. There’s a link to a primary source. The primary source then gives a detailed walk-through of what elder citizens in Venezuela saw when they tried to access their pension money, including screenshots and shows how the government was paying people’s pensions in Petros (Venezuela’s cryptocurrency), without their consent.

Applying the evidence framework (that can be found here) to it, we find

  • Reliable authority: Yes, the Caracas Chronicles is a reliable authority. It’s a news source that was founded in 2002 that focuses on Venezuelan news. It has a long history of focusing on this subject. The Associated Press, an esteemed news source in America, said of the source: “English-language musings are a must-read for foreign journalists, academics and political junkies."

  • Accurate data: Yes, the evidence is accurate. It has screenshots of all the different screens someone would see trying to access their pension funds in Venezuela. These could be photoshopped but that seems unlikely given the credibility of the publication and that this claim has been reported in other places.

  • Recent data: Yes. The article was posted on December 12 this year. Within a week time-frame.

  • Distinction between fact and inference: Yes. The article is not supportive of the actions of the Venezuelan government but it makes its opinions very clearly separate from the facts.

  • Publicly available: Yes. The evidence (screenshots of the site that Venezuelan citizens visit to get their pension) is accessible by the public.

Status: Confirmed


#30

Oil markets are getting murdered in the last few days making Petro coin worthless. Centralized governments robbing pension plans. Thank u, next :fuelpump:


#31

Claim: An alleged Augur reporter said that Republicans won the 2018 US Midterm elections for House!

Category: Projects

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/augur-house-elections-market-alleged-145510092.html

Evidence/Argument: An Augur reporter is the one who is designated as the reporter by the Market/Event creator who will post the outcome of an Augur market/event once the expiry date has passed for it. Here is the Reddit handle of the alleged reporter by the name Poyo-Poyo.

If you check Predictions.Global site which is a UI site for Augur and lists all the resolved and active markets in Augur, you can see the specific market details.

https://predictions.global/augur-markets/which-party-will-control-the-house-after-2018-u-s-midterm-election-0xbbbc0a8baa03535e0a680ee2f057162aaaafd570

The designated reporter address listed here is the same as the market creator which is totally fine with Augur. But it is hard to find out whether the reddit handle belongs to this same address.
Designated Reporter:
0xc64e96319366da7d00ef4bc14b42e8b1f3a31f52

If you see the outcomes of the market you can see more than 95% has predicted for Democrats and so if the outcome is going to be confirmed as Republicans all those predicted the right outcome are going to lose their money and the market creator is going to make lot of money just by a semantic gimmick.

Technically the designated reporter can report the market outcome as Republicans because the market expiry was set to Dec 10 and Republicans still control the house on this date and Democrats will only take control of the house on Jan 2019. The reporting state of this market is Awaiting Next Window which means an initial report is submitted by the reporter or someone else and a tentative outcome has received for the market to enter a dispute round. Since the market outcome is not finalized yet and the dispute outcome has not happened it is difficult to say whether this post from the alleged Augur reporter is true.
Check out the reporting process in Augur.

Status: Unconfirmed


#32

Claim: Facebook is developing a stablecoin for use on WatsApp with a focus on remittances to India.

Category: Projects or maybe use cases

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-21/facebook-is-said-to-develop-stablecoin-for-whatsapp-transfers

Evidence/Argument: The article provides unnamed sources familiar with the matter, and a quote from Facebook iterating Facebook’s interest in leveraging blockchain technology. The idea is that the stablecoin will be less volatile than Bitcoin.

Status: Unconfirmed for now


#33

Claim: Two congressmen are pushing a bill that would exclude cryptos from ever going down in price, literally making it a criminal offense

Category: Regulation

Source:


Evidence: The article Biht cites from the block says nothing about a bill that “would exclude cryptos from ever going down in price, literally making it a criminal offense.”

The article the block cites from CNBC also says nothing about a bill that “would exclude… offense.” (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/20/lawmakers-look-to-change-secs-72-year-old-securities-definition-to-exclude-cryptocurrencies.html)

There is nothing in the proposed bill, dubbed the Token Taxonomy Act, which states that the new law “would exclude… offense.” (https://www.scribd.com/document/396096529/Token-Taxonomy-Act-of-2018)

Status: Rejected


#34

Claim – The Chinese government is going to launch a digital currency

Category – regulation

Source

http://news.cnstock.com/news,yw-201809-4268560.htm


Evidence/Argument

“After the successful development of the legal digital currency prototype, the People’s Bank of China Digital Money Research Institute is being deployed in many places across the country, and through the integration with research and development institutions and industries, to achieve the development of financial technology research results.”

The People’s Bank of China’s Digital Money Institute settled in Pengcheng and is closely related to the support of the Shenzhen Municipal Government. The Shenzhen Municipal Government has previously stated that Shenzhen is expected to be the first city to test the legal digital currency, and provide systematic preparation for this, including: advance layout research, strive for pilot projects, strive for digital currency promotion pilot qualifications, and cooperate with the establishment of digital currency

Status – Confirmed. Right now, we know China will be launching a digital currency pilot program, starting with a trial project in Shenzhen. However, despite clear ambitions to launch a digital currency nationwide, there has been no timetable set, nor official confirmation of a nationwide launch.


#35

Claim: Medici Land Governance, a land administration-focused subsidiary of Overstock.com, has signed an agreement with Teton County to create a blockchain-based records keeping system.

Category: Use cases

Source: https://trib.com/business/energy/teton-county-traces-the-history-of-its-dirt-with-blockchain/article_49483c12-7a32-5b53-82f3-5feb1ec76c3b.html

Evidence/Argument: “Medici Land Governance is the 14th portfolio company of Medici Ventures, Overstock’s wholly-owned subsidiary founded in 2014” Press release

Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) announced, Medici Land Governance, its blockchain subsidiary focused on land administration, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teton County, Wyoming to develop a blockchain-based land records and information platform in 2019.“ Press release

The agreement is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which usually does not imply a legal committment to the project, however, it is a type of agreement.

From the source article: “The Teton County’s clerk’s office will continue to keep track the way it currently does in paper and on a computer database. But the company will utilize Teton’s data to build a pilot platform to track and verify those records.” The blockchain-based system will be a pilot platform whose long term viability may be uncertain, however, it will be created.

Status: Confirmed


#36

Claim: RChain spent 23.5m of their 31m capital raise on a 5-year license for an audio codec by Immersion Technologies

Category: Projects

Source: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2018/12/20/rchain-cooperative-functionally-bankrupt-after-questionable-deals-with-investors-and-developers-losing-faith/

Evidence/Argument: a number of key people have left the RChain project, in particular the lead developer Pithia. Vlad Zamfir was a board member of the project but has not been present in recent meetings. There are reasons to believe the RChain cooperative is close to bankruptcy.

Status: Unconfirmed


#37

eeek. i wonder what happened.


#38

Claim: Stonewall mimics CoinJoin by including extra input and output addresses but the extra addresses in this case, aren’t real. They’re fake but their addition conceals addresses.

Category: Security & Privacy

Source: https://twitter.com/startupswamy/status/1073803154368544768

Evidence/Argument:
Background info: Stonewall is a feature of the Samourai Wallet introduced in May 2018.

According to Samourai Wallet’s blog about the Stonewall feature (emphasis in boldtype by me to highlight text supporting the claim components):

STONEWALL is a new send type available at no extra charge to all Samourai users, enabled by default - it can be disabled in the Transaction Settings. Whenever possible your wallet will create transactions that simulates a CoinJoin transaction and obtains a Boltzmann score greater than 0. Transactions will appear on the blockchain as if there are multiple unrelated counterparties involved.

Status: Confirmed


#39

Claim: Coinbase Just Moved $5 Billion in Crypto to Prepare for Token Expansion.

Category: Projects

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/a80uvh/coinbase_just_moved_5_billion_in_crypto_to/

Evidence/Argument: According to Coinbase’s Blog, it took them months of planning and the actual migration (to their new cold storage system) lasted 4 working days to ensure much higher assurance that their customers’ funds were secure every step of the way.

Status: Confirmed


#40

This is interesting. A vast amount of Chinese population actually already transacting digital RMB using Alipay and WeChat Pay. Cash is even almost non-existent in major cities. I wonder, what is the difference between this digital current that is gonna be tested in Shenzhen, and the existing digital RMB?

Tencent and Alibaba, despite private companies, pretty much work closely with the government (altho there’s no direct proof but it’s common knowledge in China, attached a joke pic below showing all leaders of Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu). It shouldn’t be hard for government to monitor and control digital transactions in China nowadays, that’s why I am still confused with why China is pushing so much on testing “legal digital currency”.


#41

Claim: Number of crypto ATM’s has steadily increased in 2018 eventhough the crypto prices have gone down

Category: Crypto Statistics

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/number-of-crypto-atms-steadily-growing-amid-crypto-winter-data-shows

Evidence/Argument: The data from coinatmradar.com, which is a popular site tracking cryptocurrency ATM’s around the world shows this data is correct as mentioned in the source.

Here is the link to the graph of Crypto ATM’s growth over the years

The crypto ATM growth rate is consistent even though crypto prices went down in Nov 2018 compared to Oct 2018


You can analyse other detailed charts here.

You can also try to identify the exact ATM locations here

Status: Confirmed