Best TruStories of the Week - #9


#21

Ah, whoops! I’ve amended.


#22

A friend of mine said the rules on using TM are complex (you can use them in some contexts but not others) but if you are a reseller, it’s generally allowed. See HERE. I hope this helps!


#23

Challenging, I added it!


#24

Amazing! Was your friend able to discuss how to rules vary by country?


#25

Excellent Analysis! On Claim #1 I am skeptical whether the source meant the percentage of French population actually participated in Yellow Vest protests or the percentage of the population who approve in support of Yellow Vest Protests based on survey results. Some of the survey results point to around 50-60 percent of French population approve in support of Yellow Vest Protests even though the percentage has dropped recently!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/support-falls-for-frances-yellow-vest-protests-polls/ar-BBQNAlx

On Claim #2 it says 70% of French population is backing the call from Yellow Vest Protests for a run on the banks

Nicolle Maxime, who some call a spokesperson for the yellow vests movement, has stated they are organizing a run on the banks. He said the yellow vest movement is backed by around 70% of the population in France. He says yellow vests will coordinate a day, calling anyone who can to withdraw as much cash as they can from their banks. He hopes that 70% of population will do that, with no fixed date provided.

I am sure that 70% of French Population has not exchanged their Fiat currency to Bitcoin but it seems there was a slight surge on Bitcoin prices when this video was published on Jan 7 timeframe. The surge can be of any other reason.


#26

Hi All - we’ll be launching a NEW channel called Token Economics where we’ll focus on conversations specifically around token mechanics + token regulation + token governance in the real world.

The types of things we’ll discuss in this channel:

  1. Who are the actors in the system and what are the incentives at play?
  2. Are the governance models effective?
  3. Are the token mechanics working as expected? Why or why not?
  4. How do we value these tokens?
  5. What are the different types of tokens?
  6. Market adoption and prices
  7. … and basically anything related to token mechanics, token regulation, and token governance.

The channel will be opened soon - I will post 5 example claims on this Discourse to showcase the type of content we want to focus on for this category below.


#27

Claim 1: Dai, an ether backed stablecoin which is pegged against USD, has stayed largely stable against USD.

Source: Vitalik Buterin - https://bi.11fs.com/78 - 42:00 - 43:00

Background: Dai is a stablecoin pegged against 1 USD, meaning that the value proposition for this stablecoin rests on price volatility (against USD) being minimised. Given Dai can be bought and sold in exchanges, the price of Dai is also driven by buying and selling behaviour of market participants. To ensure that Dai remains pegged against USD, it needs to have some inbuilt mechanism to minimise exchange rate volatility that safeguards the price from external stresses that stimulate buying or selling behaviour. Stablecoins maintain pegs in a variety of ways – in the case of Dai, which is a reserve backed stablecoin, a critical part of the peg mechanism is ensuring that there is always a sufficient reserve of another asset (typically one for which prices can be observed) locked up as collateral, which communicates to market participants that Dai can be redeemed for another asset which also holds value. As of Jan 2019, Dai was entirely collateralised by Ether, and therefore, needed to ensure that there is always a substantial value of Ether locked up in smart contracts, even as the market price of Ether changed.

Analysis: To assess stability of exchange rate, an important metric is the relative standard deviation of the price, which measures how much the price moves against its average. For Dai, the relative standard deviation has been a 1.33%, which is far lower than major cryptocurrencies, including Ether (63.88%), which served as its reserve in 2018 [Workings will be shared in Slack if anyone would like to cross check].

My Stake : Back Claim - 100 CRED


#28

Claim 2: Dai has survived as much as a 91% decrease to the price of its collateral in 2018.

Source: Vitalik Buterin - https://bi.11fs.com/78 - 42:00 - 43:00

Analysis:

For Dai to “survive” the stresses faced by it’s collateral (ether), the price of Dai should not have changed substantially under even as price of Ether fell. To confirm this claim, it is necessary to confirm that

  • the price of Ether dropped by as much as 91% during a certain time period - Extract of historical price log for Ether reveals that price of Ether fell by as much as 94.21% between 13/01/2018 (Price = 1448.18 USD) and 15/12/2018 (Price = USD 83.79).
  • the price of Dai remained largely stable during, and also following that time period - Price of Dai has fallen by a maximum of 12.87%, with the price peaking on 04/01/2018 (Price = USD 1.0940, and falling to its lowest in 21/01/2018 (USD 0.94). Further, the correlation between the same day price changes of Ether and Dai for the whole year has been quite low (0.031), suggesting prices changes in Ether do not impact price of Dai on the same day. [Workings will be shared in Slack if anyone would like to cross check]

My Stake: Back Claim - 100 CRED


#29

Claim 3: The total Eth supply locked as collateral in smart contracts was .03% of total Eth supply at the beginning of 2018, and is 1.8% of total Eth supply at the beginning of 2019, which represents a 60x annualised growth in use of Ether

Source: https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1081599767468298240?s=19

Background: This is implicitly making a claim on use of Ether to maintain collateral, specifically to support reserve backed Stablecoins. To observe the amount of Ether which contributes towards collateral for a Stablecoins, one would need to identify relevant smart contracts owned by Stablecoin platform administrators that lock up Ether. However, dApps underpinning stablecoins will typically request to interface with ERC20 tokens for the purpose of collateral management. As Ether itself is not an ERC20 token, Ether is first locked into a smart contracts which subsequently issue Wrapped ETHs (WETH) – ERC20 tokens that have 1-1 ratio against the amount of ETH locked up – which then interface with stablecoin dApps. The analysis will therefore focus on the WETH used to support stablecoin reserves. Transparency on WETH held as reserves, however, is limited by the disclosures shared by stablecoin platform administrators. In the case of MakerDAO, a public dashboard is available which displays the amount of WETH stored, and provides linked relevant Ethereum addresses that can be audited. A review of 50 stablecoin projects released in October 2018 by Blockchain (https://www.blockchain.com/ru/static/pdf/StablecoinsReportFinal.pdf) indicated MakerDAO was the only live reserve backed StableCoin that used solely used Ether as a reserve. I have therefore limited my analysis to MakerDAO.

Analysis: To confirm this claim, it is important to check that:

  1. Total Ether supply locked up in collateral for stablecoins was approximately 0.03% in Jan 2018

  2. Total Ether supply locked up in collateral was 1.8% in Jan 2019

Supply of Ether as of 05/01/2019 = 104.22 Million

Supply of Ether as of 05/01/2018 = 96.8 Million

https://etherscan.io/chart/ethersupplygrowth

MakerDAO WETH balance as of 05/01.2019 = 1.847 Million

MakerDAO WETH balance as of 05/01.2018 = 0.032 Million

  1. Percentage of Ether locked up in WETH on 06/01.2019 = 1.78%

  2. Percentage of Ether locked up in WETH on 06/01.2018 = 0.03%

My Stake: Back Claim - 100 CRED


#30

Claim 4: Ether as base commodity money backing an open financial economy isn’t a future narrative, it’s happening now

Source: https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1081599767468298240?s=19

Background: It seems likely, based on analysis of previous claim, that this conclusion was based on apparent growth of Ether reserves used to support stablecoins.

Analysis:

To validate this claim it is necessary to confirm

  1. Ether is indeed being used extensively as reserves in a wide range of projects as a commodity (e.g., as collateral, such as gold, to withdraw loans). Analysis of prior claim indicates that all of the growth can be attributed to 1 project – MakerDAO. Further, a review of 50 stablecoin projects released in October 2018 by Blockchain research team https://www.blockchain.com/ru/static/pdf/StablecoinsRepotFinal.pdf - pages 70-78) indicated MakerDAO was the only live reserve backed StableCoin that used solely used Ether as a reserve, indicating that it is unlikely that Ether is being used in other Stablecoin projects.

  2. Use of Ether as a commodity is generating benefits promised by the “open financial economy” - While “open finance” or “open financial economy” is a not a formally defined term, it generally attempts to suggest that development of decentralised financial infrastructure (note decentralisation itself requires more robust definition), development of new financial assets on such infrastructure, and opening up access to such assets, or supporting services to a broader class of consumers will add economic value to the real economy. If Ether, as a commodity money, is being used as collateral to support Dai, it’s success in driving an open financial economy rests on MakerDAO’s success in generating economic value. It is not possible to determine if MakerDAO adds economic value just yet.

Therefore, there is still insufficient evidence to conclude, based on this data alone, that Ether is establishing itself as a dominant commodity and driving the benefits promised by an open financial economy.

My Stake: Challenge Claim - 20 CRED (Noting that there are other ways of qualifying this claim)


#31

Claim 5: Crypto asset activities undertaken by regulated financial institutions in the EU (including owning crypto-assets directly, market-making, lending against crypto-asset collateral, clearing or trading derivatives with crypto-asset underlyings, or providing custody wallet or trading platform services) has been very limited to date (as of January 2019).

Source: European Banking Authority - https://eba.europa.eu/documents/10180/2545547/EBA+Report+on+crypto+assets.pdf

Background: The European Banking Authority has a mandate to assess risks and vulnerabilities in EU’s financial system through regular risk assessment reports, especially to support the European Commission on relevant policy decisions. It has recently released a report to advise the Commission on, amongst other things, the applicability of the specific regulations that can govern specific services provided by entities that involve crypto-assets (e.g., custody wallet services), and the scale of such activities undertaken by regulated financial institutions.

Analysis: While they have acknowledge that there have been challenges in collecting detailed quantitative information due to absence of granular reporting requirements on crypto asset activities, they have based their conclusion on prior initial finding presented by the Financial Stability Board (http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/P160718-1.pdf.) which suggested that crypto assets are relatively small compared to the rest of the financial system, and information collected directly from 7 regulatory authorities across they EU (out of 30+). Data from these preliminary findings are detailed below:

While the analysis is not exhaustive, it mirrors recent sentiment and news reports on crypto-asset, and lack of public campaigns that would have been released by FIs that would seek to advertise their offerings should it be more mature.

Caveat: Analysis covers only regulated financial institutions that fall within EBA’s remit – it does not provide any detail on OTC platforms or crypto exchanges.

My Stake: Back claim – 50 CRED (It would be 100 CRED if the data available was more exhaustive)


#32

Claim :

Ethereum’s long-anticipated Constantinople upgrade has just been delayed after a critical vulnerability was discovered.

Category : Projects (Ethereum)

Source : https://www.coindesk.com/ethereums-constantinople-upgrade-faces-delay-due-to-security-vulnerability

My Stake :

  • Back claim (100 cred)

My Argument/Evidence :

  • The same can be confirmed from Ethereum blog here

Out of an abundance of caution, key stakeholders around the Ethereum community have determined that the best course of action will be to delay the planned Constantinople fork that would have occurred at block 7,080,000 on January 16, 2019.

  • Source and Ethereum blog post refer to the blog post by ChainSecurity, a smart contract audit firm where more technical details about the attack can be found.

#33

Claim: Hacked Cryptopia Funds Sent to Binance

Category: Markets, Privacy and Security
(Would like to clarify if hacking reports fall under any of the above categories or would it require another one)

Source: https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2019/01/Cryptopia-Ethereum-moves-Exit-Scam-rumours/

My stake: Back Claim(10 Cred)

My Argument:
Background: 2019 saw it’s first cyrpto exchange attack on Cryptopia, following which the site went under maintenance. A few cyrpto trackers observed movement of funds related to the hack. The article goes on to further state that Binance was one of the exchanges to which the funds could have been moved.

  1. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zao further confirmed through his tweet that hacked funds were indeed transferred and frozen.
    Tweet: https://twitter.com/cz_binance/status/1085511601665368065

It’s interesting to see how crypto community works together with the aid of technology to catch/penalize the hackers.

PS: This is my first TruStory attempt. Would be glad to hear any critical feedback on how I can improve. Thanks


#34

Claim: Grin’s inflation rate will go from 400% in 3 months to 100% in a year.

Category: Token Economics

Source: Extracted from a tweet by @hodlonaut (discovered via @priyatham’s post in Slack).
https://twitter.com/hodlonaut/status/1085296003052462081

My Stake: Back with 100 Cred.

My Argument/Evidence :

  1. Grin’s constant emission schedule of a block per minute, each with 60 Grin, produces a linearly decreasing inflation rate resulting in 400% by the end of the first 3 months, 200% at the end of next 3, 133% for the next 3, and down to 100% by the 12-month mark. As the supply steadily grows, the inflation rate drops exponentially.

Screenshot of Grin’s Google sheet of the Emission Schedule.


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RO3zc5AvfN9rcVnrYnLjqCikFLHmD39_7MCV18lDrvc/edit#gid=0

  1. While I back the claim about the inflation rate, I have less confidence in the implication being made.

In the tweet, it is implied that high inflation rate makes Grin a poor store of value compared to Bitcoin. While the qualifications for “a good store of value” are subjective, multi-variate and hard to invalidate (and the fact that Grin’s token economics are designed to encourage spending rather than holding), it is worth pointing out that the inflation rate of Grin is identical to that of Bitcoin in its first four years.

This fact is clearly stated by the Grin team on their Github:

And it can be seen on this graph comparing Bitcoin and Grin’s inflation rate over years.


https://plot.ly/~Bobby_Digital/1/#/


Welcome to TruStory!
#35

Claim: Brave Browser will start paying users to view ads. Users can opt-in to see up to 20 ads per day and will receive 70% of the revenue from the ads they view.

Category: Projects

Source: https://www.ccn.com/crypto-funded-brave-browser-is-about-to-start-paying-users-to-view-ads/

My Stake: Back Claim 75

My Argument/Evidence:
I am a little hesitant backing this 100% because there are so many glitches Brave has to work out.

70 percent will go to the publishers and content creators hosting the ads. The remaining 15 percent will go to Brave.

“With Brave Ads, we are reforming an online advertising system which has become invasive and unusable,” the company said in its blog post. "Brave Ads remove intermediaries that exploit user data and thrive on surveillance, and instead offer a consent-based system.

According to CCN:
Brave previously worked on a model of blocking all ads. Now they seek to replace ads which are vital to millions of websites with their own ads, giving nothing to the content creators. It’s almost as bad as counterfeit crypto news sites that steal our content.

I can see lots of controversy surrounding the Ads…

The company behind the browser, Brave Software, won’t begin rolling out the actual token rewarding for another several weeks. But it estimates participating users will be able to earn around $60 to $70 this year, and possibly around $224 in 2020.

Of course, there’s a big catch to whole system. You can’t withdraw the tokens you’ve earned and convert them into cash. At least not yet. Instead, Brave wants you to spend your digital tokens on rewarding your favorite publishers on the internet such as news websites or Youtube personalities.

“The idea is for users to get the big revenue share and give back to their top sites and creators,” the company’s CEO Brendan Eich over Twitter.

there are so many cool things that can spring from this idea…oh how users are able to use “tokens” to pay other users on the internet for blogs, websites, etc. i think with value based projects making dim noise, in the future having a decentralized web page can really give an incentive for users to surf the web in a meaningful way.


#36

Claim: Can Blockchain Fight Child Labor? Ford believes so…

Category: Governance

Source: https://www.ccn.com/why-ford-believes-blockchain-can-help-fight-child-labor/

My Stake: Back Claim 100

Argument/Evidence:

1.5 ton batch of cobalt will leave the mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo next month, travel to get refined in China, then to a battery plant in Korea and end up in the U.S. at the Ford plant as a battery for an electric car. The trip, lasting about five months, will be recorded on the blockchain, IBM said.
The aim is to make sure that on each stop of the supply chain, participants can check that the material was sourced according to the standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), IBM’s general manager for global industrial products Manish Chawla told CoinDesk.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is infamous for using child labor at cobalt mines, and the industry, which supplies the raw materials that go into consumer electronics and electric cars, has attracted the attention of human rights groups

“Blockchain is the most effective technology to provide a real-time access to all the due diligence processes, provide visibility to the supply chain from the miners to the market,” Chawla said. “Our role in IBM is that we are bringing people together for this project and developing the platform.”

How will this work?
IBM’s partner, RCS Global, has been monitoring practices in metal mines in Africa for several years now. In its normal course of business, the company sends its employees to small mining sites to look for illegal practices and physically put bar code tags on the bags of ore, registering that it was mined with no violation of the law, Jonathan Ellermann, a project director at RCS Global, told CoinDesk.

If a monitor detects illegal activity, like child labor, this will be recorded in the system, RCS headquarters gets an alert and informs exporters who work with this mine that the batch they are about to ship no longer meets international guidelines, Ellermann said. “Either the sourcing goes away from this site, or the prevention practices are put back in place,” Ellermann said.

Last year, for example, at one of the gold mines monitored by RCS, it had to inform the exporter of a violation, he said. “What ultimately happened is that the exporter walked away from that site.”

Interesting thought…
with all the child labor that is going on in the world, imagine if these children were paid for their work w/timebanking?! It’s amazing to think of the possibilities on how we can end child labor w/ minimal to no rewards.


#37

All assets need to satisfy a certain expected return if the marginal buyer is an investor. So the fact that Grin has such a high inflation rate does not impair its future returns by much, as I assume the marginal buyer is an investor/speculator. It does however have a lower market cap as a consequence as future dilution should be priced in.
To be a good store of value, a cryptocurrency should have a reliable usecase, ideally as means of exchange. I don t know much about grin but I suspect it is rather less reliable to have any use compared to Bitcoin, it also is a lot less liquid so it most likely is an objetively worse SoV.


#38

Claim: Government shutdown delays Bakkt launch for unknown amount of time

Category: Regulation

Source: Blockchain BPS Market Commentary on Telegram

My Stake: Back Claim - 100 Cred

My Argument/Evidence: The original Coindesk article that was referenced in the Blockchain BPS claim was written prior to the shutdown starting and speculated that Bakkt would likely fail to hit their previously set launch date of Jan 24th if a shutdown happened. A statement by the CFTC at that time indicated that some employees would continue to work if there was a shutdown, however they would be working on enforcement activities and not review processes. After reviewing the CFTC regulations posted on their website, a public review period is required and must be posted on the CFTC website. This has not been done (I double checked by searching the CFTC site to be sure) and cannot be done now until the government shutdown ends. Further, there is no guarantee that it will be done with any priority once the government shutdown ends as the backlog of other work for the CFTC is unknown at this point. Therefore, the delay is indefinite.


#39

If Bitcoin had max limit of 21 million coins, 184.467 billion Bitcoins generation seems way off. Also social coordination can work only if majority are good actors.

Interesting find though.


#40

Claim: Trezor Announces Priciest Hardware Wallet in the Market

Category: Privacy and Security

Source: https://cryptonews.com/news/trezor-announces-priciest-hardware-wallet-in-the-market-3222.htm

My Stake: [Back Claim](50 Cred)

My Argument/Evidence:
Background; Hardware wallets promise enhanced security against software wallets in the case of theft or scams. Dedicated on the 10th anniversary of bitcoin’s creation, Trezor has launched 3 luxury hardware wallets. Comparing the prices of top 3 crypto harware wallet companies on their respective websites gives the ranking of product prices.

The current most expensive Trezor wallet in the market is 605 Euros/690 USD.*

The most expensive Ledger wallet in the market is 280 Euros/320 USD. *

The KeepKey product costs 113 Euros/129 USD. *

The latest Trezor + Gray (Corazon) products start at 610 Euros/695 USD * and the most expensive is 1314 Euros/1495USD. *

*Subject to location and market volatility.