Trutheum - crowdfunding for whistleblowers

I’m intrigued by the Trutheum crowdfunding project that’s poised to launch proper later this month. They plan to build a reward pool of ETH-backed tokens to sniff out the truth. The crowd will put out “requests for truth” and then vote whether to reward whistleblowers who come forward with tips. In this way, the White Paper states, we can find out whether “Rob” has used government funds for personal trips.

This is a Zug-based outfit. By my estimation, the Swiss authorities are hardly wild about whistleblowers. I wonder how this notion of rewarding whistleblowers will go down?

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Hi @swissinfomatt (belated) welcome to Fintech Genome and grusse from across the country. I am a Brit living in Bern and a fan of Swiss Info and a passionate believer in free speech and protection of civil liberties.

So, this is very interesting to me and I think that protection of whistleblowers is increasingly critical in a world lurching towards authoritarianism with a corporate controlled media and media business model that no longer funds investigative journalism. In short, All The Presidents Men is one of my favorite movies. Wikileaks broke the ground but was deeply flawed. So as a human being, I would like Trutheum to work.

First, I should say I have absolutely no idea what the Swiss authorities think about whistleblowers. I believe that free speech and protection of civil liberties is deeply central to the Swiss way, but I have no insight into government thinking. I live in Bern because it is a lovely city that is close to some great skiing and the fact that it is the seat of the Swiss Federal Government is entirely coincidental.

So I am also intrigued by the Trutheum crowdfunding project that’s poised to launch later this month. For those who are also new to Trutheum, this Cryptoverse explainer is very good:

As an ICO, what I like is:

  1. It is capped at 3k ETH (about US$1m) which seems appropriate for a project at the White Paper stage.

  2. I can envisage using the tokens. What happens to the price is quite coincidental. That is how the early buyers of Ether and Bitcoin felt and not the speculative frenzy of so much in ICO land today.

Thanks for giving this some attention. Entshuldigung dass mein Deutsch is nicht so gut (note, must get multilingual capability deployed on Fintech Genome).

Hi Bernard, thanks for the response - it seems interest is otherwise muted! I find this a fascinating proposition.

@swissinfomatt Agree, they are not getting the word out. All it takes is a journalist to get the idea of a more sustainable alternative to Wikileaks. To me this is like going from Napster (could be shut down) to services like Kazaa and BitTorrent that could not be shut down. Oh well…

Would love to join you on linkedin - Need your email address! Mine is Do you need another follower?!

hi @swissinfomatt sent you a message through the Fintech Genome internal messaging system - membership has its privileges!

Here’s a Thing. Trutheum White paper states 30% of tokens will be retained by the organisation to fund operating costs. Is this reasonable?

Yes I think so. It is a non-profit I think and they need to pay people to run things. The mix of social and for profit is a tough thing to get right but critical IMO as it is more sustainable.

Another ICO with a social mission is

Well it seems that the likes of Bradley Birkenfeld and Rudolf Elmer are supporting the aims of Trutheum

@swissinfomatt Good to see this getting some attention and great article. I think it would be a shame if this got too linked to banking secrecy. That is only one use case and not the most important in my opinion. I also think that financial rewards are not a big motivator for whistleblowers. However if we get lots of whistleblowers there should be rewards for others who work to independently verify the truth - what we used to be able to rely on media to do. Otherwise we just get a flood of nasty gossip.

In today’s media landscape, Nixon would have remained in office. What we really need is a decentralised Wikileaks that nobody can shut down and that is not dependent on a single flawed human - and we are all flawed as I am sure Julian Assange would agree. If Trutheum becomes that it is a big deal.