Best TruStories of the Week - #8


Claim: Bitcoin is close to overtaking MasterCard by the amount of value transferred daily

Category: Bitcoin, Markets


My Stake: Challenge claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence: Inaccurate Comparison, and completely misleading. As in this thread:

Exchange trading is completely different from facilitating the transfer of goods and services.

However, a fair comparison might be to the forex market transactions around the clock which averaged 2.4 trillion per day in April 2016.


Claim: ETC 51% attacker was a white hacker


My Stake: Challenge claim (10 CRED)


Lets start of with the definition of a white hacker. In simple words, white hackers are individuals who hack a system to check its security and then inform the owners. Basically they hack to help maintain the security of the system.

ETC underwent a 51% attack, and Coinbase reported that $1 million were stolen reported that they then received $100,000 back. Hence, many people are calling the attackers - “white hackers”

Since, the amount returned is minimal compared to what was stolen I don’t back the claim and hence challenge it.

However, I challenge it with less CRED as I don’t understand why they would even return the amount they have returned. Are these hackers actually nice?


Claim: Speaking spots at Consensus (A CoinDesk event) are not paid.

Category: * Scams and Fake news


My Stake: Back claim (50 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence: After listening to the episode and tweets, I lost respect towards Peter McCormack (host of What Bitcoin Did).

@ joonian who does all of the programs at Consensus says they don’t get paid for the speakers to speak at their conference.

Vinny Lingham, Co-Founder, CEO of Civic Technologies, one of the speakers at Consensus just confirmed that he didn’t pay to be a speaker there in 2018 on Twitter via DM.


Claim: China is introducing laws that will require any blockchain nodes to formally register with the government

Category: Regulation


My Stake: Back claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence:

  • The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will require any “entities or nodes” that provide “blockchain information services” to collect users’ real names and national ID or telephone numbers.

  • Chinese blockchain platforms will have to censor content, allow authorities access to stored data and check the identity of users under rules set out on Thursday by Beijing. Companies found to be in violation of the rules could be subject to fines or prosecution, the CAC, which issued draft rules in October, added in a statement

  • For more than a year, China has been cracking down on cryptocurrency trading and its surrounding industry while also singing the praises of blockchain. It appears its goal is to take advantage of the resiliency and tamper-proof nature of blockchains while canceling out their most most radical attribute: censorship resistance.


Interesting. At first, I was going to back this claim because if an official report came from that someone returned a part of funds, then it implies it may have been a white hacker. But seeing that it was only a small part of the $1m, I too will challenge this claim.


Claim: Bitcoin’s price movement has a very low correlation to a broad set of financial asset classes including Bonds, US Real Estate, Oil, Emerging Market Currencies, Emerging market Stocks, Developed market stocks, and ETFs.

Category: Markets


My Stake: Black Claim (100 Cred)


Status: Valid. Multiple independent analyses confirm that Bitcoin has a very low correlation with these major asset classes (between 0 and +/-.4). There are extremely few assets that are this uncorrelated with other assets. This could make bitcoin extremely desirable from a portfolio construction perspective.


I like this claim too and will back it, 50 Cred. However, if there was a way of phrasing the claim so that it was more objective (falsifiable) I would back it with 100 Cred :slight_smile:


This make sense, however the comparison is conditional on the ASIC farm having another chain that it could be repurposed to mine on at a significant profit. If no such chain exists then repurposing the ASICs wouldn’t represent a viable economic strategy, and the 51% attack could be equally economically damaging to the attacker.


Good point @DanielKoff . The original claim is valid (in my opinion) none the less. Somewhat relevant context:


That’s great that you found the original Tron whitepaper. I agree that any clearly copied parts and ones that are only minor tweaks don’t look good for Tron. On the other hand, there is a lot less copying/pasting than I imagined after reading those articles are hearing things from Vitalik and others. Still, after seeing your analysis, Sun’s statement to Morris that " We have come to a consensus that this did not happen" is clearly false.


Claim : 51% attack compromises the immutability (and security) of a crypto-network – and affect individual users who hold the cryptocurrency, which will ultimately cause the price of that cryptocurrency to go down.

Category : Token Economics

Source : This claim represents a broad belief within the industry. Here are some examples:

"There’s no reason for Ethereum Classic to exist. Not in 2019” - Tweet by David Iach.

“A network that allowed for double-spend would quickly suffer a loss of confidence” -

“51% attack vulnerability is a kind of cryptocurrency sickness and a terminal one at that” - Bitcoin Wiki

“Of all the potential attacks on cryptocurrencies, one of the most dreaded is known as a 51% attack”

My Stake : [Challenge claim] (50 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence : The prevailing belief is that a 51% attack should negatively affect prices. The reason it should affect prices is because a 51% attack compromises a cryptocurrency’s security proposition, making less of a credible Store of Value (which is a popular view of how value accrues in public cryptonetworks). Qiao Wang makes this case in his ‘The Store of Value Thesis’. He argues that in order for a cryptoasset to be a Store of Value, it must be “immune to theft”, which requires having a high cost of 51% attack.

Haseeb Qureshi has provided an alternative explanation for why a 51% attack may not affect prices as previously believed in this thread.

In the thread, Qureshi writes:

  • It was once assumed that 51% attacks would kill cryptocurrencies. But we’ve seen several major cryptocurrencies get attacked in the last year, and we can now put that thesis safely to rest.
  • Verge actually gained in price after being 51% attacked.

An aside:

  • the 51% attack on Verge happened in April 2018.
  • When this story was released (April 5, 2018), the author mentions that Verge was hacked Wednesday (presumably: April 4, 2018)
  • I checked Verge’s prices on the day of the attack (Apr 5, 2018) and a week later (Apr 13, 2018)

Verge’s price on Apr 5th 2018 was 0.057 USD

Verge’s price on Apr 13th 2018 was 0.096 USD

This corroborates the claim that Verge actually gained in price after the attack.

Qureshi is claiming that the primary target of attacks are actually exchanges, rather than individual people. Source.

In fact, it would be more profitable for the attacker to preserve regular transactions made by individuals.

In a subsequent podcast episode, Haseeb first states “if you’re going to do a 51% attack, you’re probably not going to do it against random people because random people don’t have a lot of money” (minute 25:52). He goes on “in essence, it’s actually in the attacker’s interest, when they build this parallel chain to include your transaction in the parallel chain because all your transactions pay transaction fees” (minute 27:30).

Haseeb makes that case that the average user won’t care about chain reorganization that happen in a 51% attack because their transactions are likely not affected and this explains why prices of coins that have been attacked (ETC, Verge, etc) haven’t dropped as anticipated.

Thus, the original claim that a 51% attack compromises the immutability (and security) of the network – and affect individual users who hold the cryptocurrency, which will cause prices to go down.

Should be revised to:

Revised Claim : 51% attack compromises the immutability (and security) of the network – but mostly affect exchanges , which may cause prices to go down if exchanges decide to delist coins en-masse.

For this reason, I would challenge the original claim with 50 cred.

He goes on to suggest ways exchanges can mitigate a 51% attack, but that is beyond the scope of this analysis. Interested readers can read more here.


Claim : Huobi’s wallets are currently holding more than 72% of Gemini dollar’s total supply.

Category : Stablecoins

Source :

My Stake : Back claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence : Gemini dollar total supply = $86,928,453.15 as seen on Etherscan


After looking at the top holders of GUSD, the top three accounts belong to Huobi which adds up to $69,045,163.9. That is approx 79% of total supply.


Interesting side read -
Huobi launched HUSD which is a all in one stablecoins. When you deposit any kind of stablecoins, they will be shown as HUSD in your account. You may withdraw any kind of stablecoin. So getting in and out of one stablecoin to another is facilitated.


maybe that’s his “hacking staple name”…

have you seen home alone? the robbers had a name, they called themselves the “wet bandits”.
maybe the hacker is leaving a footprint…:thinking:


@paulapivat not sure if I completely agree. This is true if we assume that users are ONLY using centralized exchanges, and that the centralized exchanges offer users a refund if their transactions get double-spent in a 51% attack, right?

What about the scenario where users are on decentralized exchanges, and there is no one to protect them from a double spend attack on their coins?

I back this claim with 50 Cred.


Hey Paul, interesting point of view. But I disagree

  1. I believe what your analysis shows is that in the example of Verge the price increased instead of falling after a 51% attack. This just shows that a 51% attack might not impact prices but in no way implies that it doesn’t compromise the immutability (and thus the security) of a network. By def when re orgs and double spend happen the chain has been compromised in it’s immutability.
  2. In cases where the parallel chain mines all other transaction as usual and just attacks exchanges, I see your argument. But not all attacks will be of this nature. If they mine empty blocks, none of the transactions will get confirmed and will be stuck in mempool till the attack is mitigated. This affects individuals as much as exchanges. Laura Shin and Charlie Lee discuss some of it here -
  3. If a chain isn’t secure over a period of time, exchanges will de-list them. This has to affect prices and can cause a crash.
  4. ETC fell 7% after the attack which isn’t a massive dip but this shows that 51% attack can cause the price to go down - as opposed to your analysis, right?

So in conclusion, I am challenging your analysis or backing this claim (50 cred)


@paulapivat I would agree with @preethi & @manasi comments below as individual users can get really affected with more gravity on a decentralized exchange on a 51% attack. Luckily DEX are not popular enough and has lower customer volume.

I would like to quote Charlie Lee’s comment on 51% attack.

"If a crypto can’t be 51% attacked, it is permissioned and centralized.”

So if individual users are not affected by a 51% attack then I guess there is some kind of centralization effects in play.

I back this claim with 50 CRED


Claim: 70% of France is threatening to exchange all their fiat currency to Bitcoin

Category: Governance



My Stake: 50 Cred (reject claim)

My Argument/Evidence: The claim found in the article suggests that 70% of France’s population is part yellow vest protester who is protesting the French government’s wealth tax policy.

  • Background on yellow vest movement: People are protesting France’s wealth tax policy where they believe the working and middle class do not have a living wage. They are saying, " They say their incomes are too high to qualify for social welfare benefits but too low to make ends meet." (source: NPR) Basically, they are frustrated with their government failing them and threatening to destabilize the government by withdrawing all their bank accounts and buying crypto.

  • False claim #1, 70% of French’s population is involved with yellow vest movement. France currently has a population of 65 million people (source: The French ministry estimates 150,000 people participated in the protest in December (Source: Dept of Interior)

  • False claim #2, Saturday, January 12, 2019, protesters will withdraw bank accounts and do a bank run for crypto. According to Coin Dance’s weekly trading volume for Europe on the week of 1/12/19, Bitcoin volumes decreased. Coin market stat’s shows a decrease in market cap of Bitcoin for that week too, implying less trading activity for Bitcoin that week.

  • From evidence found, I do not believe 70% of France’s population did a bank run and bought crypto. I couldn’t find any reports of increased Bitcoin purchases in France or French banks having less accounts.

Welcome to TruStory!

This is kind of a random theory, but it is possible that this was supposed to be a white hack, but only one of the participating hackers returned the money they took and the others kept it?


I just found a nice infographic of Constantinople on Twitter.


Thanks, that’s a great infographics. Excited to see how the upgrade turns out.