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Author Topic: [XSPEC] relativizing recent SCAM allegations  (Read 491 times)
cryptolous
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March 04, 2018, 08:51:45 PM
Merited by Beachguy (10)
 #1

Hello!

First of all, full disclosure:
- This is my very first post here
- I did buy a small amount of XSPEC (800) right before writing this post (that doesn't mean I have massive confidence in it though, read below why I did)
- I'm new to cryptocurrencies, currently seeking to invest around 30k in different currencies
- While I'm new to cryptocurrencies, I am an experienced software developer, owning a software consultancy and having worked as contractor for large corporations such as Google, so I can assess code and repository quality

I took a look at XSPEC because I saw in my coin stats app that it had dropped in value significantly over the last 24 hours and I wanted to take a closer look to see if the market may have been just overreacting to some bad news, here's what I found:

There are currently (at least I suppose) two convincing threads on bitcointalk that hint at something being off with XSPEC.

1st: Why I chose not to invest in SpectreCoin (XSPEC) now
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2839833.0

2nd: PROOF that XSPEC is a SCAM
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3055715.0

The first thread was started by gunner833 giving plausible evidence (apparently also confirmed and responded to by lead developer JBG) that there were some false claims regarding experience, credibility and capacity of the developer(s). Personally I found the pro-scam arguments and voices more rational and convincing with the exception of post #48 (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2839833.msg30868099#msg30868099) that contains a copy of JBGs response to the OP's allegations and JBGs response sounds honest and credible.
What surprises me is that everyone seems to make a secret of the real name of JBG, which can be found through a quick web search for his github username, which yields this 6 months old thread https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/6weajl/why_i_have_decided_to_invest_in_spectrecoin_xspec/ (ironically bearing the same title as gunner833s thread, just negated) where he is named as Jansen Garrick. I don't think he should and has reason to hide.

The second thread provides even stronger evidence that this project is just a scam with nothing real behind it and at first I just wanted to give the OP preshpr1nce kudos for being one of the few voices to produce actual evidence for his arguments (while everyone denying that XSPEC is a scam is just making empty claims that everything is alright as well as rude FUD-accusations without producing any proof or linking to references). However, before doing so I took a look at the github repository (https://github.com/XSPECOfficial/spectre) myself and I have to say now that while it's true that the commit volume is too thin for a full-time developer, it's nowhere as bad as preshpr1nce's thread makes it seem.

Even if you're not a technical person, you can look through the commit history here: https://github.com/XSPECOfficial/spectre/commits/master which shows that at least between december and january the repository was quite active (if you click on a commit, red means code removed and green means code added). It's true that it's a lot of library updating, but it's not like the developer only changed a handful of simple codelines, which preshpr1nce's thread makes it sound like.

The negative aspects for me when looking at the git repository are two things:
1. The developer is not good at commenting his commits, and even though the codebase was forked, he should also get better at commenting the code changes he makes
2. There were no commits after January 30st

However, the activity shown in the repository between December and January seems to show genuine efforts by a busy developer and the claims by preshpr1nce's post, while not being inherently wrong, seem to be largely exaggerated.

This is why I bought a few XSPEC now, but I wouldn't risk a lot on it. While I don't have massive confidence in the project (to me it seems the lead developer Jansen Garrick is a great programmer but probably not very experienced in leading projects and getting them to the finish line), I don't sense any fraudulent intentions after taking a look at the code repository and commit history, so I bought a small amount.

I hope that is useful to someone.
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moofie
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March 04, 2018, 09:22:16 PM
 #2

Thank you very much for this post.  I own a few xspec myself and since I'm not a programmer it is really difficult to determine whether the accusation are legit or not.
gunner833
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March 04, 2018, 09:45:52 PM
Last edit: March 04, 2018, 10:00:48 PM by gunner833
 #3

Between December and January: UI changes, library updates and stake donations. You need to remember that jbg is on XSPEC from June. What happened between June and December? Nothing. He said he was working on 1.4, let's see when 1.4 is out if there are commits for that between June and March which takes into account 7 (Jun/March excluding Jan/Feb) months of development.

Do another check: check for any core changes on the blockchain logic, you'll not find any. Only UI changes and library updates, in 9 months of work full time, plus who knows what the other claimed developer is doing.

Also his real name is not the one you mentioned.
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March 04, 2018, 10:03:54 PM
Last edit: March 04, 2018, 10:17:11 PM by Beachguy
 #4

I and the rest of the xspec community know exactly what he was doing.....why not bother to read the newsletters in our BtCt oP?.....you're trying to hurt our project on purpose for some reason. I'd really like to know why.

Spectrecoin is a solid project with a good future. we have weathered haters like you that come and go....but that's okay since haters going to hate and your rep will grow as one.
So....what's your deal friend?
You have to have some ax to grind.



@cryptolous -  thank you for a rational breath of freshair in the middle of this huge fud cloud of bullsheet.
you won't be disappointed.

For security, your account has been locked. Email acctcomp15@theymos.e4ward.com
Dan123456
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March 04, 2018, 10:11:16 PM
Last edit: March 05, 2018, 12:46:00 AM by Dan123456
 #5

I believe the ring signature comment in the other post is incorrect as well from the github is not the ghost protocol as some call it. I think the improvement was to how transactions are split, but tbh I find nothing about it on github, but I don't know anything about coding or what I am looking for.(edit: there is a mention of ghost protocol, but I meant the splitting part, in xspec or sdc)

Anyway, the reason that ring signatures were changed to 1 or 2 is because otherwise there was not enough stealth transactions occuring to form a "ring" of 3+ transactions. This would then leave stealth token stuck and unspendable. I think it is one of the reasons for stealth by default in V2.0, as all will be stealth then.

This is actually a problem for tokenpay at the moment, stealth tokens get stuck as their default ring signatures require 3 transactions from what I understand. I assume it is a problem for any optional privacy coin.

Anyway, this is for me a wait and see coin. I have some but not a fortune.

Hopefully you won't fud me for being new to the forum lol

Edit: And incase it isnt known, tokenpay is a fork of xspec wallet, not shadowcash, hence my comparison.So what jbg has done can't be that bad can it.

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March 04, 2018, 10:28:49 PM
 #6

I and the rest of the xspec community know exactly what he was doing.....why not bother to read the newsletters in our BtCt oP?.....you're trying to hurt our project on purpose for some reason. I'd really like to know why.

Spectrecoin is a solid project with a good future. we have weathered haters like you that come and go....but that's okay since haters going to hate and your rep will grow as one.
So....what's your deal friend?
You have to have some ax to grind.



@cryptolous -  thank you for a rational breath of freshair in the middle of this huge fud cloud of bullsheet.
you won't be disappointed.


Well one of the reason is because of answers like yours, when we ask legit questions based on research and then get shilling quick answers (the project is legit, it has a good future, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla). It's just annoying.

There are some facts in mine and preshpr1nce posts, and your community and only developer failed to prove them wrong continuously.

I have been asking where is 1.4 code for long, which has been promised by jbg to be made public end of January. This simple action would have cleared most of this. Guess what? It didn't happen yet, and now also 1.4 is delayed, and the announcement of the delay is delayed too.

I mean come on! Cheesy

gunner833
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March 04, 2018, 10:39:04 PM
 #7

Thank for you answer Dan123456, at least you are trying to do some research, thanks for this. XSPEC needs more people like you and less shillers.

Quote from: Dan123456
I believe the ring signature comment in the other post is incorrect as well from the github is not the ghost protocol as some call it. I think the improvement was to how transactions are split, but tbh I find nothing about it on github, but I don't know anything about coding or what I am looking for.

Good! I think you're right. So now ask yourself why you didn't find that change. I'll give you a hint: there isn't, it's another lie.

Quote from: Dan123456
So
Anyway, the reason that ring signatures were changed to 1 or 2 is because otherwise there was not enough stealth transactions occuring to form a "ring" of 3+ transactions. This would then leave stealth token stuck and unspendable. I think it is one of the reasons for stealth by default in V2.0, as all will be stealth then.

I think you're right here too. But I hope you understand that what you wrote means that XSPEC is not that stealth at the moment? Isn't this worrying?
cryptolous
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March 04, 2018, 11:36:12 PM
 #8

Between December and January: UI changes, library updates and stake donations. You need to remember that jbg is on XSPEC from June. What happened between June and December? Nothing. He said he was working on 1.4, let's see when 1.4 is out if there are commits for that between June and March which takes into account 7 (Jun/March excluding Jan/Feb) months of development.

Do another check: check for any core changes on the blockchain logic, you'll not find any. Only UI changes and library updates, in 9 months of work full time, plus who knows what the other claimed developer is doing.

That is correct - there's however also a lot of commits regarding build system which indicate there is genuine work going into this in order to get the project up to date and workable - but it's definitely thin (not a full-time developer). The only changes to blockchain logic (wallet and miner) also seem - as you correctly point out - only related to donations. However, I don't see that it would be necessary for there to be more changes to this part of the code in order to rule out a scam. To me it doesn't look like scam - rather like a developer having taken over a project of someone else and stuff turns out to be a bit more tricky and take longer than expected (I agree that he probably also over-exaggerated in terms of how much time he invested into this code so far, but that also doesn't make it a scam automatically).

Also his real name is not the one you mentioned.

Interesting, why not just share it?


I and the rest of the xspec community know exactly what he was doing.....why not bother to read the newsletters in our BtCt oP?.....you're trying to hurt our project on purpose for some reason. I'd really like to know why.

If you do have this kind of insight, I guess you could do the community a great favour by sharing your knowledge and being more specific in terms of what has been done (technically) off-repository and how.
I do have to agree with gunner833 and preshpr1nce that those voices defending the project only resort to claiming that it is a good project and on track and that they have insider knowledge supporting this, but they don't share any supporting information and fail to specifically address the valid concerns that are presented quite clearly.
Dan123456
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March 04, 2018, 11:45:55 PM
 #9

Well, I can't find anything about splits in general, let alone if they are different to those used in shadowcash. Hence I don't know what I'm looking for. There is however, something called ghost protocol in some of the code, so it exists.

Well, yes a bigger ring sig is better for sure. But as he pointed out changing a 3 to 1 isn't difficult, neither is changing a 1 to 5 when it is stealth by default.

Xvg doesnt have ring sigs, neither does deep onion. I'm sure there are others. Token pay has them, but they can't be used. The tech of many coins is still developing. Xspec still has working stealth address and tor. So I wouldn't be too bothered for now, as ring sigs are implement,just not that useful for anonimity ATM.

As an investment, it isn't much of a "red flag" for it to be changed. That is what you said in your original post I believe, why not to invest. The need for more stealth transactions so ring sig size can be increased in order to provide greater annonimity is planned for in 2.0, so it is not a red flag imo.
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March 05, 2018, 12:16:47 AM
Last edit: March 05, 2018, 02:15:55 AM by gunner833
 #10

Between December and January: UI changes, library updates and stake donations. You need to remember that jbg is on XSPEC from June. What happened between June and December? Nothing. He said he was working on 1.4, let's see when 1.4 is out if there are commits for that between June and March which takes into account 7 (Jun/March excluding Jan/Feb) months of development.

Do another check: check for any core changes on the blockchain logic, you'll not find any. Only UI changes and library updates, in 9 months of work full time, plus who knows what the other claimed developer is doing.

That is correct - there's however also a lot of commits regarding build system which indicate there is genuine work going into this in order to get the project up to date and workable - but it's definitely thin (not a full-time developer). The only changes to blockchain logic (wallet and miner) also seem - as you correctly point out - only related to donations. However, I don't see that it would be necessary for there to be more changes to this part of the code in order to rule out a scam. To me it doesn't look like scam - rather like a developer having taken over a project of someone else and stuff turns out to be a bit more tricky and take longer than expected (I agree that he probably also over-exaggerated in terms of how much time he invested into this code so far, but that also doesn't make it a scam automatically).

Also his real name is not the one you mentioned.

Interesting, why not just share it?


I and the rest of the xspec community know exactly what he was doing.....why not bother to read the newsletters in our BtCt oP?.....you're trying to hurt our project on purpose for some reason. I'd really like to know why.

If you do have this kind of insight, I guess you could do the community a great favour by sharing your knowledge and being more specific in terms of what has been done (technically) off-repository and how.
I do have to agree with gunner833 and preshpr1nce that those voices defending the project only resort to claiming that it is a good project and on track and that they have insider knowledge supporting this, but they don't share any supporting information and fail to specifically address the valid concerns that are presented quite clearly.

Thanks for analyzing it further. One point that I found difficult to pass over is not that ShadowCash is not a good coin. ShadowCash is a good coin. But who created it has left, and that's the value of the coin, not the coin itself which is almost 2 years old now, but who developed it. Now all the responsibility is on jbg, and everyone is investing because he's saying he's doing stealth staking and they think he can deliver.

Then you do a bit of research and you find out that:
- he lies about his experience (proved)
- he lies that he's working full time (you agree on this with me)
- he probably also lies that he's working with another developer (where is he? no changes and he did only a library upgrade on github, LOL)
- he's always late with his own set deadlines
- he claims on chat that he's thinking about implementing all the features in the crypto world (he mentioned: stealth staking (LOL), RingCT, hardware wallet integration, bulletproof, merging bitcoin core, cold staking, HD wallet, ...)
- he says that he's going to reveal 1.4 code to then clear doubts and he does not
- he has done only UI changes, library update and build system changes as you stated

and last but not least:

- he never changed anything on the core of the coin.

You then try to discuss these things, and you get assaulted by shillers (for example Beachguy answer above) who do not know anything about code and just come to randomly shill, instead of asking of why we think this way.

For his name not to be shared, he wants to be anonymous, so I respect his decision.
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March 05, 2018, 03:03:38 AM
Last edit: March 05, 2018, 03:15:28 AM by preshpr1nce
 #11

Here is my reply to this, oh and gunner, you are always so kind mate Wink

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3055715.msg31598614#msg31598614

Quote
The negative aspects for me when looking at the git repository are two things:
1. The developer is not good at commenting his commits, and even though the codebase was forked, he should also get better at commenting the code changes he makes
2. There were no commits after January 30st

What a load of garbage this is, the findings are on his commits to date, prior to the 30th of jan, no one needs comments to read the small amount of code he's put up also.
You guys are really getting desperate now.

This thread is just trying to spin and confuse non technical people, Beachguy is nothing more than a shill for the coin, he probably holds a lot, he's either really gullible or part of this scam.

Let me just remind people, when you have a person giving evidence and others crying "he's wrong, he's FUDing, he's got a calculated plan"
Why not just ask these people to actually disprove that persons findings? wouldn't it be far far easier than their approach? Well, only if they could I guess.

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March 06, 2018, 12:04:44 AM
 #12

Quote
Also his real name is not the one you mentioned.

Interesting, why not just share it?


are you nuts?!

why are you interested in xspec if you think privacy is bad?

Unless he turns out to be a scammer he has a right to privacy!!   Roll Eyes

Truth is the new hatespeech.
gunner833
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March 06, 2018, 10:33:06 AM
Last edit: March 06, 2018, 10:58:29 AM by gunner833
 #13

Where did you read him saying that privacy is bad? Huh

He has right to privacy, if he knows how to maintain it.

As a lead developer of a privacy coin, he failed to do so.

Fun, isn't it?
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March 09, 2018, 11:03:16 AM
Last edit: March 09, 2018, 11:43:25 AM by size_m
 #14

ok, good finds of gunner833 and preshpr1nce and quite interesting for investors (especially for very cautious, hesitant, and risk-averse investors).
jpg seems to be caught and embarrised by you because he obviously hasn't delivered enough results within that quite big time frame.

but does this really make the whole project a scam or would it even be "proof" for a scam?

i would bet you would find similar things in many coin projects if you would just dig deep enough into them.
some of them might indeed be scam projects.
but in this one i'm not sure about that.
there seems to be still a good team behind it and the technical structure of the "shadowcoin" is pretty nice and solid.

as it seems the team is trying to solve the issues and make up for the done mistakes.

i think jpg should admit his mistakes and give away a big part of the work into other hands what he obviously already does (at least partly).

although jpg might have delivered too less of programming work he could have still done some more work around it than it seems to us.
maybe he spent alot of time with researching the code and whatever else.
not all of someones work can 100% be controlled through physical results.
we cannot really tell.

and also the coin is already working well so maybe it wasn't too urgent to improve things on the technical side.

but i still agree with you guys that it was just not enough of what jpg has delivered until now.

i will hold my coins and hope that other programmers will take over the work now and in the future.
and maybe jpg will still deliver something on what he has promised.

gunner833
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March 09, 2018, 12:50:29 PM
 #15

hey, you double posted, my answer here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3055715.msg31916708#msg31916708
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March 09, 2018, 10:27:03 PM
 #16

yea, sorry for that.
but i did that on purpose because i wanted the people from both threads to read that.
actually i wanted to post the same in your thread as well.
but maybe like this it is enough.  Smiley

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