Best TruStories of the Week - #9


Supporting @zareef1992’s argument for challenging the claim: “Analysis of prior claim indicates that all of the growth can be attributed to 1 project – MakerDAO”

1.4% of total ETH supply (77.77% of the 1.8% - Total ETH locked in smart contracts)

Also, I believe the claim made by Ryan S Adams has selection bias. Considering the growth rate just for 1 year and at early stages is no indication/predication scale for the future or trend. Any tips on how can I possibly prove or disprove the selection bias?


Wow, great work @HelloRena !


I think simply stating this is enough. Another option is to find example(s) of Cryptocurrencies which showed initial promising signs of growth for a particular use case, but didn’t last.


I agree with @dnivrav 's challenge as all of these are future offerings and I could not find any ‘major’ traditional banks that are currently offering custody services to the public for digital assets. I won’t repeat @dnivrav’s comments because they are well laid out.

My Stake: Challenge Claim (50 cred)


My Stake: Challenge claim (100 Cred)

My Evidence/Argument:
The source in @preethi’s claim referred to an article citing Gnosis Olympia as the prediction market component. According to Gnosis Olympia’s website, the platform hasn’t yet launched.


I agree.

Back Claim 50 CRED

“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.”

LONDON (Reuters) says Carmaker Ford (F.N), technology giant IBM (IBM.N), South Korean cathode maker LG Chem (051910.KS) and China’s Huayou Cobalt (603799.SS) have joined forces in the first blockchain project to monitor cobalt supplies from Democratic Republic of Congo.


My Stake: Challenge Claim[50 Cred]

The article source provided in the tweet mentions two ways to earn money(GNO tokens)

  1. Gnosis Dapp - which as you have pointed out through the twitter source and @Pam’s argument - is still under development for prediction market.
  2. GnosisX Challenge - A challenge designed to encourage developers to build prediction market applications on Gnosis- As per the blog post on the gnosis website, an open challenge was launched in Feb 2018 where participants had to submit Dapps. Based on their criteria, winners could have won GNO tokens worth up to $100,000.

However, a subsequent blog post dated October 2018 states the following:
“Unfortunately, none of the submissions we received met our criteria for the evaluation process. More than 80 teams registered for the competition. However, none of the submissions we received included a prototype or working decentralized application”

There is no mention of a new challenge and though the website still talks about the challenge, it was last updated on July, 2018.


Claim: Fundamental flaws with zk-SNARKs, the privacy algorithm used in Zcash (ZEC), may allow malicious agents to mint additional token without being detected.


My stake: Back Claim (10 Cred)

My argument/evidence: Unfortunately, I do not have the expertise to verify this. But I am backing it in order to encourage others to find arguments / evidence supporting or refuting this claim.


It looks like this is a valid claim, but one that is already well known among cryptography experts. You can see the full discussion on Twitter here:

To summarize:

  1. zk-SNARKS require a trusted setup, and we learned that a trusted setup is a well known drawback of zk-SNARKS. A well-known Cryptographer, Eli Benson, wrote about its drawbacks here. Some other threads I found discussing the drawbacks: here and here

  2. Reuben Yap claims that the original article by CryptoBriefing took what he said totally out of context. His original intention was to convey that his project (Zcoin) is developing a new technology called Lelantus as an alternative solution to zk-SNARKS that aims to solve for the above flaw in zk-SNARKS.


I agree with @zareef1992’s claim.

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

Backing it with 50 Cred.

Another piece of evidence to support this is Coinmarketcap’s price graph. Ever since February 2018, it has stayed between $1.05 and $0.95.


Claim: You can do with your Kitty art what you could never do with Mickey Mouse: you can take the art and design associated with the NFT, and make a living by using that art in creative ways. Put it on a shirt. Make your own comic book, featuring your Kitty. Buy 52 Kitties, and put the art on a deck of playing cards. The possibilities are endless.

Category: Use cases & Regulation


My Stake: Back claim 50 Cred

My Argument/Evidence: I am happy to hear that NFT License 2.0 is allowing artists and creators to buy and sell products and art made on top of ERC-721 as long as the profit is up to $100,000. This is revolutionary since historically it was very difficult for artists to spin off copyrighted design and art from the original without paying licensing fees and not get into trouble with the owners. I know this because I was a patent paralegal for 10 years.

The Medium article gives you a good example: “Let’s imagine that you bought a Mickey Mouse plush toy for your child. If someone asked you if you own that plush toy, your answer would be an unequivocal “yes!” But what if you wanted to take the Mickey Mouse design from the plush toy, put it on a t-shirt, and then sell that shirt? Well, you aren’t allowed to do that. Why? Because the design is Disney’s intellectual property, and they guard it carefully. You may own the plush toy, but Disney still owns the design.” Let’s start building on top of ERC-721 aka Non-fungible tokens!


Does Satoshi explicitly mention it as a hard fork or this is technically a hard fork based on the steps mentioned in bitcointalk?

My question is if someone just picks the first release of Bitcoin software and syncs it all the way past 2010 does it prove this as not a hard fork? Maybe not! since it is already patched!
The reddit post claims this as not a hard fork!

One can take the very first release of Bitcoin and sync it way up until 2014 before it croaks due to bugs in handling blocks >500kb in size.


In response to this analysis, Preston has written a thoughtful post elaborating on what he perceives as suggestive evidence that Ethereum is (arguably doomed to be) centralized, which I encourage people to read. I’d like to use this opportunity to examine his reasoning in the hopes of making explicit, certain claims that would be beneficial (and really interesting!) for the community to follow-up on.

Elaborating on the previous analysis, Preston anchors his line of thought around four main themes:

  1. Tokens
  2. Nodes
  3. Clients
  4. Too-easy alignment of interests and too-rapid decision making

Working backwords:

Claim: Major changes like adjustments to mining rewards are quickly agreed with no objections on the part of major ecosystem players.

I believe I’ve provided data in the previous analysis that indicates that mining rewards adjustments on Ethereum were not quickly agreed upon - that there was debate and discussion for a period of time among a number of parties. Three improvement proposals (EIPs) were put forth and deliberated on.

Dan Finlay provided a helpful flowchart on how the EIP process works for:

Following the process, one can see multiple stakeholders, rich discussion on various social platforms (in addition to previous provided EIPs on github, see Eth Magicians), the All Core Dev calls (#53, all of these are made public); all this discussion before various clients get to choose whether or not to implement the proposed changes, then before miners/users update or don’t.

What the above illustrates is that Ethereum, like Bitcoin, functions under off-chain governance, of which can hardly be accused of being “rapid” nor “easy” in alignment.

Nevertheless, Preston is looking for “hard hitting analysis aimed at determining whether collusion has occurred or is occurring in relation to major proposed protocol changes”. I think the above is sufficient for this particular claim, but one’s mileage may vary. On a side note, Preston’s draws on his experience doing anti-trust litigation in making this claim; I would be very interested to read about methods for detecting collusion (if any) that could be brought to bare.

I do think it would be helpful for “major ecosystem players” that’s implied in the claim to be made explicit. That would allow for follow-up analysis for verification.

Claim (regarding clients): There are 13 (or more), but the vast majority of nodes run one of two (Geth or Parity). (The implication is that when there a majority of nodes run on two of 13 (or more) clients, there is a degree of centralization.)

I can verify this claim. Preston’s point is valid and well noted here. Geth is the dominant client, followed by Parity-Ethereum and Parity.

This is something the Ethereum community is aware of and even then, given the 10 or more additional clients, it would be worthwhile for the wider community to monitor adoption/usage rates of other clients as a measure of relative centralization-decentralization moving forward.

Claims regarding Nodes:

It was acknowledge in the previous analysis that the point about Infura’s dominance in the market is valid. And that several teams are working on alternative to Infura. Not to mention the argument that “a strong network of thin and light clients” could be an effective alternative. (I’m aware some would contest this last point, most notable argument put forth here. It’s a meaty post, so I’ll save it for separate analysis).

Nevertheless, Preston makes several sub-claims which may be interesting for the community to dig into including:

Larger claim: The fact that everyone relies on Infura for the system to work, combined with the inability of core devs to find credible scaling solutions, means node counts are falling quickly – and the result is effective centralization in Infura’s hands.

Sub-claim: Everyone relies on Infura for the system to work.

Some interesting evidence would be node distribution (actual counts) among three separate types: full nodes; light nodes; archive nodes.

Sub-claim: Node counts are falling quickly.

Assuming he’s referencing full nodes, evidence to verify/falsify this claim would include number of nodes over time (say between 2015 - 2019).

Final theme: Tokens

Claim: Concentration of large amounts of Ether wealth grants the holder of that wealth outsize influence over the supply of the coins that can be brought to market, including the ability to crash the currency.

This is an interesting claim. The context for this is his suspicion around Ethereum’s pre-mine process. The argument is that a pre-mine leads to a concentration of large amounts of Ether in a few hands. The counter-argument is that the team behind Ethereum worked hard for no pay for a long time to launch the protocol and they knew further research, development would be needed to bring the vision to fruition and a pre-mine rewards the biggest risk takers.

In the previous analysis, I made a case that previously concentrated wealth has been meaningfully distributed in the form of research grants to teams doing real work in the ecosystem.

Even so, it would be interesting to see evidence of irregular price movement for ETH to verify/falsify the idea that “influence over the supply of coins…including the ability to crash the currency”. To my knowledge, the bear market has affected ETH as much as BTC and every other coin other there. I haven’t seen evidence of price tampering.

As a thought experiment, let’s suppose that a large concentration of Ether fell to a sub-group and that group wished to exercise outsized influence.

Some would argue that part of the motivation to move to proof-of-stake is to counteract any “outsized influence” a sub-group (i.e., cartel) could have based on their coin holdings. Strategies have been proposed to discourage centralization, with specific incentives to discourage joining large pools, discourage putting nodes in the largest virtual private server provider (i.e., Infura) and encourage the use of secondary software implementations (i.e., the other 10 aside from Parity and Geth). Source:

Of course, all of the above require empirical data, which will not be clear until the system is actually running. To that end, validator behavior and the incentive structures that are implemented would be important to monitor when the move to PoS is completed.

All in all, I think Preston’s skepticism is healthy for the Ethereum ecosystem. I do not think the centralization-decentralization debate is meant to be “settled”, but rather indicators of each to be continually monitored moving forward. Addressing the claims made explicit and the suggested evidence would be a step in that direction.


Hi @DanielKoff to get back to your question, I sifted out some sub-claims you might find interesting. I now believe there are multiple indicators of centralize/decentralized, see here: Best TruStories of the Week - #9


My back claim - 100 CRED

The disbursement of the $5 million will be done in phases. First, Parity will receive a certain amount, followed by smaller chunks depending on their future accomplishments. The set milestones include the completion of eWASM compatibility, development of a light wallet for the Ethereum blockchain and advancement of sharding techniques.


Here you go! :slight_smile:


yes, I believe it IS a hardfork. If you read the discussion in this thread, nodes HAD to upgrade (when nodes are forced to upgrade, it means it’s a hard fork).

Some quotes below from the thread:

Satoshi: That means it’s no longer necessary to delete blk*.dat before upgrading. You can just upgrade and it’ll reorg away the bad block chain.

NewLibertyStandard: Yes. The only exception would be if an unpatched client made another fake transaction and managed to verify it. They would be able to spread that fake block to a few other nodes that haven’t upgraded, but the upgraded clients seem to have more power than the unpatched clients, so the bad link would not last long and would not be spread by upgraded clients.

Satoshi: Un-upgraded nodes have the correct chain most of the time, but they are still trying to include the overflow transaction in every block, so they’re continually trying to fork and generate invalid blocks. If an old version node is restarted, its transaction pool is emptied, so it may generate valid blocks for a while until the transaction gets broadcast again. 0.3.9 and lower nodes still must upgrade. The SVN now has the code we needed to automatically reorg the block chain without having to delete the blk*.dat files manually. I knew I couldn’t write that code fast and carefully enough yesterday, so I went with the quick manual option.


@cyber_hokie @sassal where can we find the data to verify / refute these claims?


Claim: New York state approved Robinhood to trade in cryptocurrencies.

Category: Regulatory

Source: and

My Stake: Back 10 cred

My Argument/Evidence: According to the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), it approved Robinhood Crypto LLC’s application for a virtual currency license which allows Robinhood Crypto to engage in a virtual currency business activity. Robinhood Crypto may offer services for buying, selling, and storing seven virtual currencies. Robinhood Crypto was also granted a money transmitter license.

One could argue that Robinhood Crypto is not fully engaged in trading cryptocurrencies since they are limited by DFS Regulation NYCRR Part 200 to:

  1. receiving virtual currency;
  2. storing, holding, or maintaining custody or control of virtual currency on behalf of others;
  3. buying and selling virtual currency as a customer business;
  4. performing exchange services (converting one form of currency into another) as a business; or
  5. controlling, administering, or issuing a virtual currency.

Since Robinhood Crypto will not be engaging in other “trading” activities such as shorting a virtual currency or offering put options. However, the simple exchange of one currency for another is aptly considered trade.



This piece from The Block gives more info + cites various sources.