Best TruStories of the Week - #8


#1

Please use the below format:

Claim:

Category:

Source:

My Stake: [Challenge claim or Back claim] (10, 50, or 100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence:

For categories, select from one the following:

  • Crypto glossary
  • ELI5 for crypto
  • Projects (Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Stellar, Brave, etc.)
  • Regulation
  • Mining
  • Scalability
  • Use cases
  • Scams
  • Stablecoins
  • Governance
  • Consensus protocols
  • Privacy & Security
  • Enterprise blockchains
  • Crypto funds & fundraising
  • Token Economics
  • Markets

If your claim doesn’t fit into any of these, you can request to add a category and we’ll consider it.


#2

Claim: An unknown party holds an estimated 1 million Bitcoin. Pretty much a deal breaker with regards to ever becoming a global currency.

Category: Bitcoin

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/abh5ie/surveying_the_wreckage_whats_are_the_main_reasons/

My Stake: Challenge claim (50 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence: I first tried to figure out if there was any single account which owns 1 million coins for BTC and BTH. Bitcoininfocharts has a “Top 100 Richest Addresses” list. For BTC, the wallet with the most coins is 138,661 BTC and for BCH, the wallet with the most coins has 239,131 BCH as of this writing. I cross-referenced it with the top 100 list on btc.com and it shows the same data: here and here.

Then I did some further investigation and learned that the claimant might actually be referring to Satoshi, who is rumored to have owned close to 1 million coins. Around April 2013, blockchain researcher Sergio Demian Lerner claimed, based on his extensive analysis, that Satoshi had mined 1 million bitcoin in 2009. His argument was that by tracking the ExtraNonce fields in the coinbase field of the coinbase transaction, he can spot a single miner with the same performance from block 0 upto block 36288, and postulates that this may be Satoshi because this miner hasn’t spent any coins since then.

However, various people argued that the evidence Sergio initially presented was somewhat weak. Another blog post called “Does Satoshi have a million Bitcoin?” by BitMex does a great job evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of Sergio’s argument.

I am not convinced of Sergio’s analysis, so am challenging this claim to see if anyone can come up with stronger evidence :slight_smile:


#3

Claim: The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has dropped plans to approve the trading of crypto derivatives - Bitcoin futures and Ethereum options - on exchanges.

Category: Regulation (or Markets).

Sources:

My Stake: Back claim (50 Cred).

Argument/Evidence: Since the primary source, according to Bloomberg, is “a person familiar with the matter,” I’m backing this claim with 50 Cred rather than 100. Also, I have yet to find a strong source confirming that BTC futures and ETH options were in fact planned at some point.


#4

Claim: There was a successful 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic network with multiple 100+ block reorganization

Category: Ethereum Classic

Source: https://twitter.com/etherchain_org/status/1082329360948969472

My Stake: Back claim (100 cred)

My Argument/Evidence:

Outside of the trusted source, Coinbase published a write up confirming this incident:

We observed repeated deep reorganizations of the Ethereum Classic blockchain, most of which contained double spends. The total value of the double spends that we have observed thus far is 88,500 ETC (~$460,000).

Here are Coinbase’s examples of 100+ block reorganizations:


#5

What about this tweet from ETC? Can this be falsified?

My Stake: Challenge claim (10 cred)


#6

First, some context: over the past few days, I’ve been following the story of Dark Overlord, a hacker group that claims to have breached a law firm ('s data) handling cases related to the 9/11 attacks and publicly has been threatening to release internal files that “has many answers about the 9/11 conspiracies”. This group is financially motivated and wants Bitcoin in return to keep shut.

Sources:

Bc they were banned on the two social media platforms, the hacker group then announced that they were moving to steemit.com, a website that runs on top the the Steem social blockchain. I thought ‘hey, smart move!’ bc I was under the impression that users on steemit.com could not be censored unlike centralized social networks because it runs on a public blockchain (steem). Content moderation (which is different from being banned outright) exists to an extent on steemit - users basically can get blacklisted on steemit for plagiarism and are re-instated post a successful appeal / apology OR users’ comments could get hidden (but still visible) if down-voted beyond a certain threshold.

I was however surprised when Steemit.com banned the Dark OverLord. Steemit’s FAQ does not discuss banning users and is very vague on the topic of censorship. Similar to me, a few users on reddit had the same confusion (https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/adn6pt/steemit_censor_911_blackmailer/). So I decided to Trustory my own claim.

Claim: Steemit.com, which is built on the Steem social blockchain, cannot censor users similar to centralized social networks

Category: Governance

Source: Self, Reddit thread(https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/adn6pt/steemit_censor_911_blackmailer/)

My Stake: Challenge claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence:

In summary, I was wrong :slight_smile: It turns out that Steemit.com (which is basically the main frontend / website running on top of the Steem blockchain) can totally censor/ban users

16. Suspension or Termination of Service.

16.1. We may suspend or terminate your access to the Services in our sole discretion, immediately and without prior notice, and delete or deactivate your Account and all related information and files in such without cost to you, including, for instance, in the event that you breach any term of these Terms. In the event of termination, your access to funds will depend on your access to your backup of your Account data including your Account Name and Private Keys.

17. User Conduct

17.1. When accessing or using the Services, you agree that you will not commit any unlawful act, and that you are solely responsible for your conduct while using our Services. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree that you will not:

17.1.1. Use our Services in any manner that could interfere with, disrupt, negatively affect or inhibit other users from fully enjoying our Services, or that could damage, disable, overburden or impair the functioning of our Services in any manner;

17.1.2. Use our Services to pay for, support or otherwise engage in any illegal activities, including, but not limited to illegal gambling, fraud, money- laundering, or terrorist activities.

17.1.3. Use any robot, spider, crawler, scraper or other automated means or interface not provided by us to access our Services or to extract data;

17.1.4. Use or attempt to use another user’s Wallet without authorization;

17.1.5. Attempt to circumvent any content filtering techniques we employ, or attempt to access any service or area of our Services that you are not authorized to access;

17.1.6. Introduce to the Services any virus, Trojan, worms, logic bombs or other harmful material;

17.1.7. Develop any third-party applications that interact with our Services without our prior written consent;

17.1.8. Provide false, inaccurate, or misleading information; or

17.1.9. Encourage or induce any third party to engage in any of the activities prohibited under this Section.

17.1.10. Reverse engineer any aspect of Steemit or do anything that might discover source code or bypass or circumvent measures employed to prevent or limit access to any Steemit Content, area or code of Steemit.

In other words, Steemit has full authority to ban the hacker group from their platform. Overall, a big learning for me personally is that just because social platforms run on a blockchain, they need not be decentralized themselves. FYI, there are alternative frontends that the hacker group can still use to access their stuff on the Steem blockchain (immutability ftw I guess?!)

https://twitter.com/ausbitbank/status/1082459121394212865


Best TruStories of the Week - #7
#7

Claim: UNICEF France asks for donations in stablecoin DAI (based on the ethereum blockchain) to fund open source blockchain projects

Category: Use Cases

Source: https://lp.unicef.fr/donate-dai/

My Stake: Back claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence:

This one’s straight from the horse’s mouth. The UNICEF France website states: “You can fund open source explorations of blockchain for social impact using Dai. Donations made in Dai to UNICEF France will go to creating bounties and funding research for open source tech and infrastructure projects, to help the world’s most vulnerable people”.

More details are in the source link if anyone’s interested to explore how funding will be used. UNICEF France began accepting cryptocurrencies as donations in 2018 and this practice will continue in 2019 with the acceptance of DAI. Progress of different prototypes arising out of this exploration can be tracked here.


#8

Claim : Nevada’s Washoe County has issued 950 Ethereum-based digital marriage certificates as of December 2018.

Category : Use cases

Source : https://www.apnews.com/8eb100aa9ce9418b9ad34473e732c1e3

My Stake : Back claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence :

As this Reno-Gazette Journal article reports, the licenses are issued by Reno-based startup Titan Seal. This all started when the founder (who had just moved from Austin) attended a blockchain conference where he sat at a table with a few Washoe County officials. He happened to run into the County Recorder Lawrence Burtness at Tahoe a few weeks later.

Since this was rolled out in April, feedback has been mostly positive with the key benefits being speed (24 hours vs 7-10 business days) and convenience:

“Unlike a paper copy that you might have to turn over to somebody, you only have to buy the digital copy once and use it as many times as you like”

While some people don’t understand they “can’t simply print the digital copy and then use it like a regular paper certificate”, the biggest hurdle has been acceptance (~65%) from agencies like the DMV:

“The idea of a PDF marriage certificate really disturbs them and we haven’t been able to convince the administrators of any of these DMVs that the (digital certificates) are actually more secure than the paper ones.”

Note: marriage licenses still have to be obtained in person. Marriage certificates serve as proof of marriage.

I found an example PDF on the Washoe County website, featuring Lawrence Burtness. That Tahoe skip trip paid off, huh?


#9

This is a great find! I guess no systems can be fully decentralized. There are trade-offs for both!


#10

Yeah double spends were detected by Coinbase.

We observed repeated deep reorganizations of the Ethereum Classic blockchain, most of which contained double spends. The total value of the double spends that we have observed thus far is 219,500 ETC (~$1.1M).

@eth_classic tweeted about the report afterwards and deleted the tweet you quoted. I’d also challenge that claim with 100 cred.

I’m curious to see how we’ll approach retracted and/or deleted claims. This is another example (in addition to general link rot) for why we’d want to store the content of a source & evidence.


#11

Claim: Stripe is 7 lines of code

Category: Markets

Source: image

My Stake: Challenge claim (100 Cred)

Argument/Evidence: Stripe itself isn’t 7 lines of code. Bloomberg claimed that any start up that wanted to add Stripe only had to add 7 lines of code in order to begin accepting payments (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-01/how-two-brothers-turned-seven-lines-of-code-into-a-9-2-billion-startup). I don’t even know if that claim is true. The title of Bloomberg’s article is misleading, though in the article itself it discusses how Strip helps start ups add 7 lines of code in order to enable payments.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14902911 This site further discusses how Stripe itself isn’t just 7 lines of code.


#12

@FatTony are you challenging this claim with 100 Cred, or backing it with 100 Cred? :slight_smile:


#13

yes. in the roadmap, though not for MVP. We want to store source / evidence contents in IPFS. (PS: @shane)


#14

I am challenging Pomp’s claim, as I do not think Stripe is 7 lines of code.


#15

Hey @bhaumik, the plan for the future is to archive all external content added to TruStory. We want this to be uncensorable and immutable, so basically IPFS. Maybe our Cosmos nodes will also be IPFS nodes or include an IPFS module.


#16

@bhaumik Thanks for the update! I see more data backing your claim.

An analyst from CoinNess.com detected a certain abnormality in regard to the mining hash rate of the ETC network. A private pool, with an address starting with 0x3ccc8f74, clutched at his attention with its recent hash rate swings. According to data from Gas Tracker, the weekly average of its hash rate is slightly off 300 GH/s. However, the private pool recorded an upsurge in its hash rate around 11:00 (UTC) on Jan 6, all the way to 3,263 GH/s, making itself a temporary largest pool. Following the soaring performance, the pool, to the befuddlement of many others, returned to its normal state and stayed dormant for approximately 10 hours before pulling off another roller-coaster climb.
Currently, the overall hash rate of the network tallies 9.28 TH/s (statistics from BitInfoCharts), while the sole contribution of the dark horse mining pool is 5,870.98 GH/s, an equivalent to 5.87 TH/s, or in other words, 63% of the entire hash rate sustaining the blockchain. That is to say, the mining pool controls an absolute majority of the ETC hash rate, a prerequisite to a 51% attack.


#18

Claim: Calgary Businesses required to accept 10% of payments in Calgary Digital Currency

Category: Regulation

Source: https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/canadian-city-of-calgary-launches-its-own-digital-currency-dd129df6bf9c

My Stake: Challenge claim (50 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence: The author of this post made the claim that Calgary businesses can not only accept Calgary’s new digital currency for payment of goods and services, but are also required to accept 10% in CDD. I could find dozens of articles that talk about the new currency and show support from the governing organizations of Calgary, however a search of the City of Calgary website came up blank. The City itself does not appear to be promoting or regulating digital currency directly. Searching for ‘CDD’ ‘digital currency’ and ‘Calgary Digital Dollar’ all returned nothing. Instead, the website http://www.calgarydollars.ca/about/ is the main website for the Calgary Dollar, but the City website does not link or refer to this site anywhere.

I could not find any evidence that directly contradicts the claim made so I did not stake 100 cred, though I am fairly confident that this 10% claim made by the medium post is not true.


#19

Claim - Major mining pools have a high die off rate

Category - Mining

Source - https://news.bitcoin.com/major-mining-pools-have-a-high-die-off-rate-study-reveals/

My stake - Back claim with 50 Cred

Argument/Evidence - The reference article in the original claim (here) does an in depth analysis on the claim, using multiple sources (data from btcdotcom and bitcoinity) followed by analysis of parsed coinbase outputs for last 450k blocks.

Further, if you reference to the initial study posted by Ark Invest (here), they use the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), to determine market concentration and clearly call out the decreasing index in the range of <1,500, where markets become competitive. In this case, the same means decentralization of mining.


#20

Claim: Ethereum (ETH) Hashrate Concentrated on Two Leading Pools

Source: https://cryptovest.com/news/ethereum-eth-hashrate-concentrated-on-two-leading-pools/

Category: Mining

My Stake: Back Claim (50 Cred)

Evidence/Analysis:

EtherChain.org data revealed that as of Jan 8 (Last 24 hours), Ethermine and Sparkpool dominated ~27.5% and ~21.8% hashrate respectively. I cross-checked with EtherScan and showed same data.

Then, I zoomed out the period to Last 7 days from Etherscan. The % dominance is similar compared to Last 24 hours. It showed that Ethermine and Sparkpool were still top 2 block miners with blocks mined percentage ~27.6% and ~22.8%.

Question:

  • Despite the top 2 mining pools produce around half of the ETH blocks, its network should be much more difficult to attack compared to the recent Ethereum Classic Attack due to huge difference of overall network hashrate?
  • How will the Ethereum hard-fork upgrade (Constantinople) scheduled around next week affect miners and their behavior? (As it will shift from PoW to PoS)

#22

Claim: Venezuela: must pay taxes in whatever currency you operated in, either crypto or foreign fiat

Category: Governance

My stake: Back the Claim (100 Cred) … it will be very interesting to see how Venezuela’s economy will take shape with the introduction to Petro, their cryptocurrency, as well as how they will implement their taxation

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/venezuela-introduces-crypto-foreign-fiat-operations-taxation

Argument/Evidence: Venezuela is in an extreme poor economic condition, and has been for quite sometime. As Cointelegraph notes, all citizens who deal with cryptocurrencies or foreign fiat currencies are now obliged to report their income and pay taxes in the same currency they have operated in, and not in the sovereign bolivar, Venezuela’s national currency. The latter has been facing severe hyperinflation for months since its launch in August 2018 - The inflation has passed over 1 million %.

the national cryptocurrency Petro, which is actively promoted by the president Nicolas Maduro’s government, will be used as a unit of account for crypto taxation.