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Author Topic: Why I chose not to invest in SpectreCoin (XSPEC) now  (Read 2011 times)
gunner833
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January 28, 2018, 10:53:04 PM
Last edit: January 28, 2018, 11:43:20 PM by gunner833
Merited by Dullmartini (2), Betwrong (1), allcryptominer (1), preshpr1nce (1)
 #1

TL:DR
I came across few suspicious things about XSPEC and I contacted jbg (lead (and only?) developer of XSPEC) privately. After the chat I had with him, I am still not sure if I trust the guy. Then after some thoughts and recent events, I have decided that it’s best for everyone to know what I know, and judge for themselves.
I will not invest long term in SpectreCoin (XSPEC) as almost everything jbg says to people is very difficult to prove and some might even be lies. Note that this is my personal conclusion, and it is based on the facts explained below.

LONG VERSION
I have been looking for a coin to invest long term and I have come across XSPEC on this forum a lot, so I decided to take a deeper look.

I am myself a software developer, so I do look quite closely to the code and its change activity. From the github commits, it seems that jbg started working on the project in June last year. There was only a few commits from June to December. From the end of September to the start of December, there was only one commit. From December onwards there has been more commits.

Then I examined these commits further: most of them were UI changes. In the 8 months (Jun 2017 to Jan 2018) there were only 3 changes to the core (most of the codebase is ShadowCoin): a quick fix on ring sizes, OBSF4 and a new feature that enables people giving stakes to the developer (!). All the rest were UI fixes and some library upgrades. That means the codebase is basically ShadowCoin with a few UI bugs fixed plus the ability to give money to the developer. ShadowCoin was a good coin regardless so at least this has inherited all the good bits.

I then checked who have been making these changes. I know that there should be two developers, each with 20+ years of experience, actively working full-time on this cryptocurrency. Weirdly when I looked into who made the code commits, only one person (jbg) had been making commits in the past 8 months. I could not see any commits done by another account.

This already sounded suspicious so I researched more and have come across his real name! This is super weird for a privacy crypto developer who claims to be anonymous. I then found also out he is in his twenties (20+ years of dev experience in his twenties?) and he used to have a bar business for two years (20+ years of dev experience on his twenties with 2 years with a bar business?) which went bankrupt with a $90k+ tax debt. Also he is now running an ecommerce business (he claims he works full time on XSPEC? Anyway website also looks quite amateur to me).

At this point I decided to contact him privately on slack. To summarize the discussion:
- About his age and his experience, he said he claimed to have 20 years experience because he had been paid for a software project he made at school when he was 9. He agreed that he might have over-exaggerated this but commented that it's kinda ok as people usually do this.
- About the bankrupted bar business (two years), he still counted this as dev experience since he developed the PoS system for the bar.
- About the mysterious second dev, he said he is a cryptographer and he is working on stealth staking that will be available in Q2 2018. I asked if the community could see any of his work, not only stealth staking, but he said I should wait until Q2.
- About the no commit period between the end of Sept to the start of December, he claimed that they were working on the UI rewrite and stealth staking. Both features were supposed to be hidden from public for now, so no way to check this.

Here is what I assess the facts given so far:
I thank him for being really transparent as he was open to discussion and didn’t deny my findings. However, everything becomes more suspicious. jbg is definitely knowledgeable in the crypto space, he knows his stuff, and always answers everyone’s questions on Slack. His coding ability is certainly good enough for library upgrades and quick UI bug fixes.

Unfortunately jbg is trying to look much more experienced than he actually is. Exaggerating his work experience is problematic because it is skewing people’s expectation and assumption when investing. We would naturally feel assured as we expect him knowing how to run, scale and lead a team, working in multi-disciplinary complex projects, and so on. This is really suspicious especially in the crypto world where scams are everywhere.

Not only his own dev experience did not check out, it is even more suspicious when there is no commits from the second dev, so-called cryptographer, on the repo. If there really had been some work done by two full-time developers since June last year I would at least see some public commits from them both.

When he claimed that both stealth staking code and UI rewrites are hidden features, I found it really suspicious. Stealth staking code to be hidden I understand, but UI rewrites? He said he does not want to make the UI rewrite public but since December he clearly has made public commits on UI changes. That makes no sense.

I honour his narrative on hidden development work but it is only his word for the last 8 months of development. As it stands, there is no actual proof apart from UI bug fixes and library upgrades. The current github commit history is definitely not enough to justify 8 months work by 1 or 2 full-time experienced developers. From my research, he's also running another ecommerce company on his own, that is a web application. I remain doubtful on the part where he says he is working full time on Spectre too. Suspicious.

As I mentioned at the start, I was going to leave the project silently after speaking with jbg as people should do their own research and make their own conclusion. However there had been a suspicious activity that made me post this publicly. Literally a day after our chat, I noticed that the github repository has been moved to a new one. This means if he or his mysterious teammate did do private commits during Sept to Dec last year, we would probably not be able prove this anymore.  

And a new github account called Bryce has miraculously showed up! This account has done no commits so far, even though it joined in September, but it has now created his first pull request! And of course it is about a library upgrade, no structural change. This is now too suspicious.

In the crypto world I am used to account for worst case scenarios and, in my opinion (and I stress this is my opinion!) the worst scenario for this case is:

- jbg is a developer who found a good abandoned coin and tried to work on it
- he created a nice community around it, he studied about crypto and SpectreCoin specifically very well so he is able to answer all the community questions
- he is lying about his developer experience so he can look more valuable
- he is also lying about another developer/cryptographer as Bryce does not exist
- always from my research, he has an ecommerce company so he can work on the coin only on his free time, not working full time as he said
- the only contribution that he can realistically offer is quick bug fixes as well as speaking to the community. That's why he is always available on slack
- aside from other features he could have done, somehow he found time to implement the feature where the community can donate him money
- his main motivation seems to be getting donations as he certainly is trying to keep the thing going. As the main revolutionary stealth staking is scheduled for Q2, he would have had 6+ months worth of donations by then. It is quite a good deal for him if you only have to do small bug fixes and answering all the common community questions on slack
- he says that he does not have much coins so he's not interested in the coin price. However people have been donating a lot of coins to him: averaged ~$6000/month only on stakes donation at the actual rate, plus all the ones he received previously, plus the ones he owns on his own. These donations means a lot to the country he lives (yup I found out where he lives) as it has a very low average salary.

This is my worst case scenario that I deduced from the information I found. It might not be true, but it is possible.

If you count the number of times I wrote the word "suspicious", you'll understand why I am not going to invest now. It is probably better to wait and see the end of February when 1.4 is scheduled with a full UI rewrite. This is also suggested by jbg and I will pass this on but bear in mind that he is happily receiving donations in the meantime.

Few last things:
- I am not going to reveal jbg identity or how I found it. But I have proofs of our conversation, and I can share this if necessary (with all personal information censored).
- I already spent too much time on this and I need to move on Smiley. For this reason I don't think I am going to reply.
- I really hope jbg will prove what I wrote wrong with the delivery of the Spectre road map on time.
- I hope cryptographer Bryce really exists Smiley
- crypto is full of smart people and scams, try not to invest on words, but invest on facts.
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January 29, 2018, 12:26:41 AM
 #2

Are you are crypto developer yourself or could you develop a coin similar to this if you wanted to?

Not that this question relates to your post. I have no interest in xspec.

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January 29, 2018, 01:01:17 AM
 #3

TL:DR
I came across few suspicious things about XSPEC and I contacted jbg (lead (and only?) developer of XSPEC) privately. After the chat I had with him, I am still not sure if I trust the guy. Then after some thoughts and recent events, I have decided that it’s best for everyone to know what I know, and judge for themselves.
I will not invest long term in SpectreCoin (XSPEC) as almost everything jbg says to people is very difficult to prove and some might even be lies. Note that this is my personal conclusion, and it is based on the facts explained below.

LONG VERSION
I have been looking for a coin to invest long term and I have come across XSPEC on this forum a lot, so I decided to take a deeper look.

I am myself a software developer, so I do look quite closely to the code and its change activity. From the github commits, it seems that jbg started working on the project in June last year. There was only a few commits from June to December. From the end of September to the start of December, there was only one commit. From December onwards there has been more commits.

Then I examined these commits further: most of them were UI changes. In the 8 months (Jun 2017 to Jan 2018) there were only 3 changes to the core (most of the codebase is ShadowCoin): a quick fix on ring sizes, OBSF4 and a new feature that enables people giving stakes to the developer (!). All the rest were UI fixes and some library upgrades. That means the codebase is basically ShadowCoin with a few UI bugs fixed plus the ability to give money to the developer. ShadowCoin was a good coin regardless so at least this has inherited all the good bits.

I then checked who have been making these changes. I know that there should be two developers, each with 20+ years of experience, actively working full-time on this cryptocurrency. Weirdly when I looked into who made the code commits, only one person (jbg) had been making commits in the past 8 months. I could not see any commits done by another account.

This already sounded suspicious so I researched more and have come across his real name! This is super weird for a privacy crypto developer who claims to be anonymous. I then found also out he is in his twenties (20+ years of dev experience in his twenties?) and he used to have a bar business for two years (20+ years of dev experience on his twenties with 2 years with a bar business?) which went bankrupt with a $90k+ tax debt. Also he is now running an ecommerce business (he claims he works full time on XSPEC? Anyway website also looks quite amateur to me).

At this point I decided to contact him privately on slack. To summarize the discussion:
- About his age and his experience, he said he claimed to have 20 years experience because he had been paid for a software project he made at school when he was 9. He agreed that he might have over-exaggerated this but commented that it's kinda ok as people usually do this.
- About the bankrupted bar business (two years), he still counted this as dev experience since he developed the PoS system for the bar.
- About the mysterious second dev, he said he is a cryptographer and he is working on stealth staking that will be available in Q2 2018. I asked if the community could see any of his work, not only stealth staking, but he said I should wait until Q2.
- About the no commit period between the end of Sept to the start of December, he claimed that they were working on the UI rewrite and stealth staking. Both features were supposed to be hidden from public for now, so no way to check this.

Here is what I assess the facts given so far:
I thank him for being really transparent as he was open to discussion and didn’t deny my findings. However, everything becomes more suspicious. jbg is definitely knowledgeable in the crypto space, he knows his stuff, and always answers everyone’s questions on Slack. His coding ability is certainly good enough for library upgrades and quick UI bug fixes.

Unfortunately jbg is trying to look much more experienced than he actually is. Exaggerating his work experience is problematic because it is skewing people’s expectation and assumption when investing. We would naturally feel assured as we expect him knowing how to run, scale and lead a team, working in multi-disciplinary complex projects, and so on. This is really suspicious especially in the crypto world where scams are everywhere.

Not only his own dev experience did not check out, it is even more suspicious when there is no commits from the second dev, so-called cryptographer, on the repo. If there really had been some work done by two full-time developers since June last year I would at least see some public commits from them both.

When he claimed that both stealth staking code and UI rewrites are hidden features, I found it really suspicious. Stealth staking code to be hidden I understand, but UI rewrites? He said he does not want to make the UI rewrite public but since December he clearly has made public commits on UI changes. That makes no sense.

I honour his narrative on hidden development work but it is only his word for the last 8 months of development. As it stands, there is no actual proof apart from UI bug fixes and library upgrades. The current github commit history is definitely not enough to justify 8 months work by 1 or 2 full-time experienced developers. From my research, he's also running another ecommerce company on his own, that is a web application. I remain doubtful on the part where he says he is working full time on Spectre too. Suspicious.

As I mentioned at the start, I was going to leave the project silently after speaking with jbg as people should do their own research and make their own conclusion. However there had been a suspicious activity that made me post this publicly. Literally a day after our chat, I noticed that the github repository has been moved to a new one. This means if he or his mysterious teammate did do private commits during Sept to Dec last year, we would probably not be able prove this anymore.  

And a new github account called Bryce has miraculously showed up! This account has done no commits so far, even though it joined in September, but it has now created his first pull request! And of course it is about a library upgrade, no structural change. This is now too suspicious.

In the crypto world I am used to account for worst case scenarios and, in my opinion (and I stress this is my opinion!) the worst scenario for this case is:

- jbg is a developer who found a good abandoned coin and tried to work on it
- he created a nice community around it, he studied about crypto and SpectreCoin specifically very well so he is able to answer all the community questions
- he is lying about his developer experience so he can look more valuable
- he is also lying about another developer/cryptographer as Bryce does not exist
- always from my research, he has an ecommerce company so he can work on the coin only on his free time, not working full time as he said
- the only contribution that he can realistically offer is quick bug fixes as well as speaking to the community. That's why he is always available on slack
- aside from other features he could have done, somehow he found time to implement the feature where the community can donate him money
- his main motivation seems to be getting donations as he certainly is trying to keep the thing going. As the main revolutionary stealth staking is scheduled for Q2, he would have had 6+ months worth of donations by then. It is quite a good deal for him if you only have to do small bug fixes and answering all the common community questions on slack
- he says that he does not have much coins so he's not interested in the coin price. However people have been donating a lot of coins to him: averaged ~$6000/month only on stakes donation at the actual rate, plus all the ones he received previously, plus the ones he owns on his own. These donations means a lot to the country he lives (yup I found out where he lives) as it has a very low average salary.

This is my worst case scenario that I deduced from the information I found. It might not be true, but it is possible.

If you count the number of times I wrote the word "suspicious", you'll understand why I am not going to invest now. It is probably better to wait and see the end of February when 1.4 is scheduled with a full UI rewrite. This is also suggested by jbg and I will pass this on but bear in mind that he is happily receiving donations in the meantime.

Few last things:
- I am not going to reveal jbg identity or how I found it. But I have proofs of our conversation, and I can share this if necessary (with all personal information censored).
- I already spent too much time on this and I need to move on Smiley. For this reason I don't think I am going to reply.
- I really hope jbg will prove what I wrote wrong with the delivery of the Spectre road map on time.
- I hope cryptographer Bryce really exists Smiley
- crypto is full of smart people and scams, try not to invest on words, but invest on facts.


Thank you for this research! The amount of accounts shilling xspec on this forum is supremely annoying and another red flag in my opinion. Of course I looked into the coin too and decided to pass because I don’t invest if the team is not known. I also found some threads on Reddit if i recall correctly that went through the revolving door of developers or team members at xspec. Glad to know I’m not the only one on all of bitcointalk that doesn’t trust the future of xspec!
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January 29, 2018, 11:17:30 AM
 #4

Are you are crypto developer yourself or could you develop a coin similar to this if you wanted to?

Not that this question relates to your post. I have no interest in xspec.

I could try if I had donations in the order of 6k$/month too. Wink
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January 29, 2018, 01:57:49 PM
 #5


I also found some threads on Reddit if i recall correctly that went through the revolving door of developers or team members at xspec.

could you post a link of this one please? I am curious to read about it Smiley
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January 29, 2018, 02:01:42 PM
 #6

Sold my sterling coins a month ago. And glad I did it.
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January 29, 2018, 02:15:55 PM
 #7

Sold my sterling coins a month ago. And glad I did it.

Sterling? LOL. You might misread things. That's also why you bought DeepOnion I guess  Grin
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January 29, 2018, 02:27:21 PM
 #8

Thanks for your research and for sharing some valuable info, gunner833!

Indeed crypto world is full of smart people some of which are trying to scam others. That's why we need a place like this, bitcointalk, where it's possible to see from the replies to any ANN thread, whether a project worth investing or not.

Talking about Spectrecoin, I personally would never invest in a coin presented on as few as 4 markets, one of which, Bisq, has $5k daily trading volume. But that's me, I usually avoid taking risks, and maybe that's why I'm not rich still. )

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January 29, 2018, 04:39:33 PM
 #9

only trying to help Wink
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January 30, 2018, 04:14:18 AM
 #10

Could you tell, which country (or part of Europe) jbg is living? I tried to pm you, but you don's take messages from newbies.
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January 30, 2018, 08:16:40 AM
 #11

you made some good points, which some of them have been discussed on slack channel.
really don't understand why does it matter whats the jbg history,in short period that he is working on this project what he promised he delivered.
Anyways you didn't say anything new that should concern people who did their research.they know its gamble thats why mc is 60mil not 600mil...
you don't like to gamble you find is suspicious thats fine i respect that.lets wait for 1.4realease so we can see what are we dealing with,and q2 is not far along either so given previous expirience i will ride along and see how the project is progressing.I don't think almost 1 year of manipulating people to earn few thousands dollars from staking is worth it for jbg or for anyone
time will tell
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January 30, 2018, 08:25:30 AM
 #12

It is PoSv3 so its rather fast - 60 sec transactions - It has got stealth addresses that make your transactions go throught separate uncorelated addresses
It will feature Ring Signatures from v1.5 on, that makes your digital signature of transaction signed by a person of a specific pool - It is first ever coin (cept scam ICO TokeyPay totally copied our wallet from github with only changing logo) that has got TOR with OBFUScation4 integrated natively into an opened client. It makes your traffic appear as a normal one to a provider or whoever looks(instead of looking like TOR traffic)
It has got encrypted chat function which is a big deal for privacy (would be more easy to use in v1.4)
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January 30, 2018, 08:32:38 AM
 #13

Based on all my findings, as well as a raw view of the coin’s financial situation, is it clear to me that Spectrecoin (XSPEC) is the privacy coin I want to invest in now. On a technological standpoint, it is impressive compared to the other five big coins. With it’s tiny market cap and steady growth, I feel the potential here is huge for both the short to medium run, and of course, the very long run, where it is important, in my opinion, to be able to achieve some level of privacy in this crypto circus we dwell in.
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January 30, 2018, 08:56:40 AM
 #14

I have invested 2k in this counter as I believe I would make some money based on what I know about it. I think investing  in cryto currency carries certain amount of risk ,as long I think the reward / risk is in my favour , I am comfortable holding it.
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January 30, 2018, 10:11:23 AM
 #15

I am full invested in XSPEC, it is a good coin and the dev team is capable. I am sure it will do very well in 2018. Grab coins at this good price before it is too late. And then hold it.
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January 30, 2018, 12:07:54 PM
 #16

As a listed member of the Spectrecoin team I really appreciate this post.  It's thorough and raises good questions that people should be asking when it comes to crypto currencies.  JBG is upfront about these issues if you ask him.  AFAICT he is still dedicated to the project.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬ ▬▬     SPECTRECOIN     ▬▬ ▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
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January 30, 2018, 12:25:58 PM
 #17

A simple google search will give you this information. You will also find in that same search that jpg has been working with easier ways to transact money back in 2007.  Wink

Worried about my trust rating? I am too. Bitcointalk users ‘Lauda’ and ‘gmaxwell’ have abused their superior powers in trust system to align their views with the ‘correct views.’ In no legal system in any jurisdiction do we have a definition for what Bitcoin is, they do not have the power to tell us what it is based on the rule of law.
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January 30, 2018, 12:30:24 PM
 #18

I heard a lot of that project was a scam and I've joined on the airdrop project. but until now I still do not find the exchanges on the token.

►► D E A L J O Y - Earn Crypto by shopping online  (https://dealjoy.io)◄◄
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January 30, 2018, 12:36:57 PM
 #19

Thanks for the post, OP! Super interesting.

Kinda interested in the conversation, would be cool if you could share it - but I understand if you'd rather keep it private. Wink
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January 30, 2018, 02:43:42 PM
 #20

I heard a lot of that project was a scam and I've joined on the airdrop project. but until now I still do not find the exchanges on the token.

One reason might be that your looking in the wrong place, same as you are posting on the wrong thread.

Thanks for the post, OP! Super interesting.

Kinda interested in the conversation, would be cool if you could share it - but I understand if you'd rather keep it private. Wink

User 'skelethon' has not chosen to allow messages from newbies. You should post in their relevant thread to remind them to enable this setting.

Could you tell, which country (or part of Europe) jbg is living? I tried to pm you, but you don's take messages from newbies.

I have enabled it now, even though I will not disclose anything about his identity. I respect his choice of being anonymous.
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