Best TruStories of the Week - #9


#41

yes, this was possible because it was an overflow bug: it used an integer overflow to make a negative total transaction. That’s why if you look at the code fix, they fixed it by checking for negative and overflow values:


#42

nice find @SadieRaney. Where on the website are the public reviews posted? can you point me to it?


#43

Claim: The 2050 supply is a more accurate metric than marketcap in valuing the aggregate value of a token supply.

Source: https://twitter.com/spencernoon/status/1085578544036671488

Category: Token economics

My stake: Back it (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence: Marketcap takes into account only the “circulating” tokens which is Coinmarketcap’s “best approximation of the number of coins that are circulating in the market and in the general public’s hands.”

Coinmarketcap adds that

Coins that are locked, reserved, or not able to be sold on the public market are coins that can’t affect the price and thus should not be allowed to affect the market capitalization as well. The method of using the Circulating Supply is analogous to the method of using public float for determining the market capitalization of companies in traditional investing.

The problem with this is that the token supply can vary so much because token’s have such different issuance and inflation rates.

Spencer Noon makes the argument that the 2050 supply is a better indicator at valuing a token than the “marketcap” because it accounts for this. He uses Grin as an example.

Because coins have such different “token economics,” I believe this claims holds true. It’s a way to even out all the discrepancies similar to how a college recalculates GPAs of students from different high schools.

One question though.

  • Supply doesn’t take into account price. How is this going to be a better metric than marketcap if they’re an apples to oranges comparison?

#44

@preethi
They post them here: https://comments.cftc.gov/FederalRegister/OpenForComment.aspx

Anyone can post a comment publicly and you can view anything posted to date (if there are any comments made).


#45

Claim : Andreas Antonopoulos to appear on the Joe Rogan Experience

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/agx0fl/andreas_antonopoulos_to_appear_on_the_joe_rogan/

Category: Media (not a category, but suggesting it)

My stake: Challenge claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence: Andreas Antonopoulos said himself on Twitter that the site, the Reddit post is linked to is a fan site and speculative.


#46

Claim : Ethereum is centralized.

Preston Byrne says Ethereum is more decentralized than Ripple. He walks it back slightly saying Ethereum is marginally less centralized than Ripple. But maintains, Ethereum is centralized.

Category : Projects (Ethereum)

Source : https://twitter.com/prestonjbyrne/status/1084616672886034433
https://twitter.com/prestonjbyrne/status/1086053659828502528

My Stake : [Challenge claim] (50 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence :

The main claim is that Ethereum is centralized.

Preston’s reasons for making this claim include sub-claims that Ethereum is reliant on a handful of private companies to survive; that block reward cuts can be agreed seemingly without objection; that tokens likely remain in few hands; that influence seems to be concentrated in a few hands. He suggests that three entities colluded to reduce mining rewards. Furthermore, he claims that many EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) are directed at the Infura instance of the EVM, which itself has to use AWS because it’s bloated. Finally, he maintains that people can’t run their own full node. (note: Preston didn’t make this last claim, but appears to agree with it as it supports his overall claim). For all these reasons, Ethereum is centralized.

Note: The above reasons were, for the most part, taken from his twitter feed. He has not made these arguments formally, but hopefully i’m doing a fair job of representing his line of reasoning.

Let’s take a closer look:

Ethereum is reliant on a handful of private companies to survive

There are influential players within the ecosystem (Ethereum Foundation, Consensys, etc), but there are also competing implementations of Ethereum (roughly 50% Geth, 40% Parity); Parity is independent from EF and Consensys.

Here is a list of 13+ clients implementing EVM (ethereum virtual machine) (6 are on mainnet); there are 7 programming languages compiling into EVM (additional 3 for zk-SNARK Circuits and Proofs); and and 10 code analyzers. Considering the technical scope, it’s less tenable to think that this can all be housed under “a handful” of companies for survival.

Arguably, the existence of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) over 100s members indicates more organizations involved, using and perhaps contributing to Ethereum. Ethereum may have been reliant on a handful of companies in 2015, but the picture is considerably different in 2019.

Block reward cuts can be agreed seemingly without objection.

Taking a look at the Ethereum Core Dev meeting agenda on Constantinople, there are actually three competing EIPs for reducing block rewards (#858, #1234, #1295). Also here for #1295 discussion.

Looking at each of the EIPs linked above, there appears to be a fair amount of discussion, back and forth, agreement and disagreements along the way. There was also a vote - on the difficulty bomb and block rewards adjustment (voting summary: 170 votes, 151,170.1 Ether Voted).

None of this suggests that block reward decisions were made “seemingly without objection”.

Tokens likely remain in few hands.

To get this data, I went to etherscan.io; here’s a snap shot:


Source: https://etherscan.io/stat/supply

It appears that 69% of ETH (60M crowdsale, 12M other) was distributed at Genesis. Since, 28.8% have been mined, 2.2% have been earned from transaction (Uncle) fees. There is no straight forward way to assess this as single entities can put their ETH into multiple addresses/accounts. This site provides the top 10,000 accounts (the top five accounts had less than 2% of ETH).

Preston may have a point here. A counter argument would be how active the Ethereum Foundation has been dispersing grants to the ecosystem to build out needed infrastructure. To date, there have been 4 waves of grant distributions (Wave 1, Wave 2, Wave 3, Wave 4).

Wave 1: $2.54 MM dispersed
Wave 2: $2.842 MM dispersed
Wave 3: $5.67 MM dispersed
Wave 4: $3.035 MM

That’s roughy 14 Milllion USD dispersed. A case can be made that although Ethereum tokens were initially in few(er) hands, there have been efforts to disperse those funds for building needed infrastructure.

Influence seems to be concentrated in few hands.

Regarding software upgrades, potential forks on Ethereum, the way those decisions are made are through the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPS). There is a process in which proposals are made, discussed, debated on the core developers calls, community sentiment gauged across various social media platforms before decisions get made.

Looking at the github repo for EIPs, there are 830 watching, 4,217 stars, 1,310 forks, 112 pull requests suggesting that there is considerable input/engagement from the external community. Not to mention, the core devs calls do get recorded and communicated. Any whiff of private meetings appear to have been abandoned, as explained here. As stated in the previous link, the community has adopted Chatham House Rules in their approach to meetings.

The evidence does not suggest that influence is concentrated in a few hands.

Three entities can collude to reduce mining rewards (and thereby increase the value of their holdings), I call that centralization.

We can refer to the previous discussion on reducing block rewards and can conclude that it is highly unlikely that there was collusion among three entities.

I will add, “permissioned” Ethereum implementations have done more to decentralize the Ethereum ecosystem than all EIPs directed at the Infura instance of the EVM (source)

The larger point he’s making here is that Infura dominates the market for node infrastructure available to developers. Preston makes a valid point regarding Infura. The sentiment is echoed in the Ethereum community (see here, here).

On the other hand, if he’s suggesting that “permissioned” implementations help decentralize the ecosystem, then he should acknowledge that the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is a significant contributor to decentralization (and counters his other argument that the ecosystem is run by a few private companies, see above).

To that end, there are several teams working on alternatives to Infura including: DappNode, VIP Node, Denode, and LightJS.

People can’t run their own full node because Ethereum’s blockchain is bloated (Preston didn’t make this claim, but retweet it in support of his overall claim around centralization).

Some would argue against this claim:

That said, it’s a fair point that running a full node is likely not straight forward for everyday users, in which case, light clients are a viable alternative (both Parity Ethereum and Geth can run on moderately powerful laptops.)

Conclusion: While Preston makes a fair point regarding the (current) over reliance on Infura and the relative barriers to running a full node for everyday users, it is something the community is working to introduce alternatives. For most of his other points, the evidence doesn’t seem to indicate as much centralization as he is claiming. I therefore challenge his original claim, that Ethereum is centralized, with 50 Cred.


Welcome to TruStory!
#47

Claim: Ethereum Postponed its Hard Fork, But Some Miners Didn’t Listen

Claim 1: A “chain split” occurred – some miners were mining the unofficial Constantinople chain without consensus from the majority of the network.

Claim 2: There was more hashrate on the forked version of Ethereum than on Ethereum Classic

Source: https://www.ccn.com/ethereum-postponed-its-hard-fork-but-some-miners-didnt-listen/

Category: Mining

My Stake: [Back claim 1 & 2] (100 Cred)

Evidence/Analysis:

Claim 1:
Constantinople was meant to happen at the 7080000 block. According to http://forkmon.ethdevops.io/, the erroneous chain reached 7080006. 6 blocks were wrongly mined.

Claim 2:
From the same graph, hashrate was 93990.9 GH/s (93.99 TH/s) for the 7080006 block. The ETC hashrate was between 8-12 TH/s last month, which is lower than the forked Constantinople chain.


#48

Claim: Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) plans to apply for a Cryptocurrency License

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1612362/set-eyes-digital-licence

Category: Regulation

My Stake: Challenge Claim (10 Cred)

Evidence/Analysis:

Most crypto media sources pointed back to the original source – Bangkok Post.

Bangkok Post made this claim based on what Pattera Dilokrungthirapop (vice-chairwoman of SET board of governors) recently said: “SET aims to cooperate with its members to set up the new digital asset exchange.”

However, I couldn’t find any text or video sources of Pattera making such statement. Neither is there any official statement released by SET.

Yet, it is true that Thailand is leading in crypto adoption in Asia. According to Thailand Security Exchange Commission press release, the Ministry of Finance has just officially granted 4 digital asset business licenses.


#49

Claim: According to the press release, Unit-e will be able to process 10,000 transactions per second. That’s worlds away from the current average of between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second for Bitcoin and 10 to 30 transactions for Ethereum.

Category: Projects, Scalability

Source: https://www.coinspeaker.com/mit-stanford-bitcoin/

My Stake: [Back] 100 Cred

My Argument:

Background: DTR, a non-profit research foundation based in Switzerland is developing Unit-e, a globally scalable decentralized payments system.

Although the news article mentions ‘according to the press release’, the press release has no mention of the number of transactions targeted by Unit-e.

However, a quick search on the research manifesto provided by DTR on their website, states the following:

" A closely-related concept to latency is throughput—the number of transactions processed per second. We are targeting throughputs of 5,000-10,000 transactions per second. For comparison, note that Visa’s networks process almost 1,700 transactions per second on average, and an order of magnitude more at its peak. Also for comparison, Bitcoin’s current average throughput is estimated between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second, and Ethereum reaches between 10-30 transactions per second."


#50

Okay @priyatham you asked my comments.

I would challenge this claim as one that we can’t really prove or disprove because we don’t have enough history in the crypto markets to really validate if this holds true or not. “More accurate” than what metric? Many of the coins have been trading for a blink and finding statistical significance (to validate financial metrics) is impossible. Also, fundamental analysis has produced a lot of variable results and there is little published academic research to validate any fundamentals in cryptocurrency so far (though many are looking – like my husband who is a PhD student researching financial valuation in cryptocurrency).

Also, I think using the 2050 supply of the “circulating tokens” fails to account for derivative value in 2050. I guess we could look at the value of all stock in the US versus the ‘value’ of the US financial markets and see what that looks like - to see if this would hold true in traditional markets as well. Some tokens will have derivative value and some will not. How do we eliminate that and consider it a valid comparison?

2050 is SO FAR AWAY in crypto time that feels like light years. Will there be 10 tokens left standing at that point or 100,000 - one for every purpose? Is he talking about the theoretical supply in 2050 IF nothing changed at all between now and then?


#51

Those are all very goods points, Max. I guess the reason I was so hesitant to make a declaration on which is a better SoV --Bitcoin or Grin – is that Grin appears to have designed their economics to favor spending over being a Sov. And for the first few years at least, the inflation rate will be so high that it will be a poor SoV. But you bring up a good point about the speculation and the idea of future dilution being priced in. I’m curious how Grin will fair these coming months.


#52

Claim: Tokens from a network at least as decentralized as the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks were on June 14, 2018 are not securities.

Category: Regulation and Governance

Source: https://medium.com/@BlockchainAssoc/understanding-the-secs-guidance-on-digital-tokens-the-hinman-token-standard-dd51c6105e2a

My Stake: Back 100 CRED

My Argument: It sounds like the standard seems to ask whether a token network has some basic level of functionality, whether its governance is more open and distributed than a single centrally-organized team, and whether at least some purchasers are users rather than speculators. This is the Hinman Token Standard and it seems applicable to Bitcoin and Ethereum. I know that Andreas Antonopoulos has been living using Bitcoin for 2 years.

The writer gave a good analogy on why decentralization eliminates the need for securities regulations: “Consider an analogy between buying a share of Google and buying a gold future; in the first case, Larry Page has company-specific information he could trade on unfairly, while, with gold, an extremely “decentralized” market, everyone can access market information. Page, like any CEO or executive team, is sufficiently central to the success or failure of Google, whereas many participants contribute to the supply and demand for gold and thus its market price.”


#53

Claim: 2018 dApp tx volume surpassed Apple’s 2009 App Store revenue

Category: Markets

Source: Reddit via LongHash

My Stake: Back 50 Cred

My Argument/Evidence:

The LongHash article making this claim cites Dapp.com’s 2018 Dapp Market Report, which states that the dapp market’s transaction volume in 2018 was $6.7 billion

Comparatively, worldwide mobile app revenue in 2009 was $4.2 billion
[cited by VentureBeat in 2010, sourced to Gartner; note that the original link to Gartner no longer works] Per Ars Technica (sourced to Gartner), Apple Store revenue accounted for 99% of this $4.2B

Even though the original sourced Gartner link is no longer functional, a graphic attributed to Gartner supports the $4.2B figure; and another graphic attributed to PwC supports it as well


#54

Nice job finding the metrics. Can you explain what you mean by “contributed $6.7 billion”? Contributed to what?


#55

Ah yes, I see how that’s incomplete.

I had used the source’s original language, which was referring to dapp’s contribution to the total cryptocurrency market. It’s clearer for the purposes of this analysis to say transaction volume, since that’s what the claim is about.

I’ve revised my analysis to say that the dapp market’s transaction volume in 2018 was $6.7 billion.

Thank you for feedback!


#56

interesting, thanks for clarifying! In that case, I have two questions:

  1. What apps are bucketed into “dapp”? Is Ethereum itself a “dapp”?
  2. What does transaction volume comprise of? (for example, does this include all ICO transactions?)

#57

Claim: The attacker made ~$250K from the ETC 51% attack per Haseeb Qureshi (@hosseeb)

Category: Privacy & Security

Source: https://twitter.com/hosseeb/status/1082815557487841282

My Stake: Challenge claim (100 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence:

The approach here is: can Haseeb’s claim be falsified?

First, Haseeb’s approach is outlined below: (He touches upon it here: https://twitter.com/hosseeb/status/1083044338010021888):

  1. Identify compromised exchange(s)
  2. Identify amount double spent on exchange by multiplying the ETC count transferred by the attacker in the double spend by the then current price of ETC; in other words amount double spent = Total ETC transferred by attacker * Price of ETC at time of attack*

*For context, the ETC 51% attack occurred in the Jan 5th - Jan 7th 2019 timeframe.

Gate.io was identified by Haseeb as the primary victim (https://twitter.com/hosseeb/status/1083044338010021888).
Gate.io reported that the attacker transferred 54,200 ETC in total during the 51% attack (https://www.gate.io/article/16735).
The price of ETC at the time of the attack was $5.30.

Plugging in the numbers, the hacker made 54,200 * $5.30 = $287,260. This figure is ~$250K. Per this approach, Haseeb’s claim checks out.

However, per the exhaustive analysis of Coinbase (https://blog.coinbase.com/ethereum-classic-etc-is-currently-being-51-attacked-33be13ce32de), the amount of ETC double spent was 219,500 ETC. This means 219,500 * $5.30 = $1,163,350 or ~$1.1M was double spent.

Because Haseeb’s claim is falsifiable, I challenge it.

Analyzing this claim does raise an interesting question though: no other crypto exchange, except Gate.io, based on my research has claimed to be a victim of the attack (either the exchange’s or its customers’ accounts). How do we then account for the ETC double spent outside of Gate.io (i.e. 219,500-54,200 = 165,300)?

Update:

I took a stab at quantifying the attacker’s profits and compared what profits are using Haseeb’s/Gate.io’s numbers and with coinbase’s numbers.

In the attachment, I’ve quantified revenue generated (from coins double spent, block rewards, Txn. fees) and costs of the 51% attack to get to the profit.

My takeaway was with Coinbase’s data, the attacker made ~$1.1M in profits whereas with Gate.io’s data, the attacker made ~$285K. That’s a big delta.
Source file


#58

@Venky_Hegde… you are not accounting for the cost of the attack. You are assuming the attacker was able to make that much money free of cost. You should subtract the cost of the attack from the total amount that was double spent in order to get the profit from the attack.


#59

@preethi: yep! The thought was that illustrating the huge difference in the top line (~$875K) is sufficient. The top line in Haseeb’s approach is already close to $250K + the cost of attack is the same regardless of approach. My rationale therefore is that the amount that the attacker made (per Coinbase’s top line) is much higher than what’s claimed (~$250K).
.
I agree though that its not straightforward to connect the dots for onlookers. I’ll include the cost of attack and update the post.


#60

I looked more closely into dapp.com’s methodology and here’s what I found:

  • Dapp.com serves as a platform for games/tools/blockchains built on Ethereum, EOS, STEEM, NEO & TRON
  • I’m not sure how to find out exactly what transaction volume is comprised of…the report doesn’t break it down. Since dapp.com is a marketplace for games/tools powered by the the 4 protocols and aren’t protocols themselves, I interpret that to mean that no, the total volume cited does not include ICOs…is that a correct inference?