Earlier this month, the Founder of TRON and owner of BitTorrent, Justin Sun, announced that he will be giving one Tesla car, as well as $20 million give-away. He did this through a tweet on his official Twitter profile and the rules to participate were simple: All users had to do was to follow him and retweet the announcement.
Since then, more than 54,890 people had retweeted. In other words, the odds to win the Tesla car were fairly slim, to say the least.
Here Comes the Draw
Two short weeks after that, Sun said that he had uploaded a video of him picking up the winner on Twitter for “transparency” reasons. However, the video is no longer available in his profile because of some supposed glitches resulting in Twitter’s inability to properly compress the file.
Yet, being as vigilant as always, members of the crypto community took action and archived the video deleted by Sun.
1/ So @justinsuntron did 88 draws using the Tesla giveaway tweet
– Draws 2 – 88 were done anonymously but from ip hashes/time stamps were clearly the same person pic.twitter.com/nV6gXgYQSQ
— John Galt (@CryptoJohnGalt) March 28, 2019
Here is the link to Justin Sun’s deleted video. In it, Sun explains the entire process, taking one step after another to “randomly” pick the lucky winner who would bring home a brand new Tesla.
But here’s where things start to look awfully awkward.
Sun explains that he is using an open-source random winner picking software called TWrench. So, basically, everything the drawer has to do is input the original giveaway tweet and the platform does a random pick in between all users, qualifying them under the pre-set criteria. In this case, the winning user must have had retweeted Sun’s tweet and followed him on Twitter.
During the video, however, right before Sun starts doing the random draw, for a split second a screen pops up, displaying a certain Twitter profile. Interestingly enough, it is exactly this person who turned out to be the winner of the Tesla at the end of the video. The user who won the draw is @uzgaroth.
Things don’t end up here, though. TWrench’s database shows that there are 88 draws made using that announcement tweet. While all of them are done by an “anonymous drawer”, the time stamps, as well as the IP hashes of the drawer, clearly reveal that it’s the same person.
All of the above is easily verifiable here. The database shows that the IP hash of the draw which announced the winner is the same as the other 60 we mentioned above.
It’s also worth noting that there is an added condition for the winner to be drawn. As per the TWrench database, apart from retweeting the announcement tweet and following Sun, the additional condition was:
The user must have tweeted between 1 and 999 tweet(s) containing #trx since 2017-06-28.
That’s clearly not mentioned before, raising concerns if it has been added after the fact to reduce the number of participants.
Something Smells Fishy
Now, naturally, the community has reacted, demanding explanation from Sun, even asking him to publish the actual video on a different platform, even if it’s not Twitter. He’s been silent ever since, which is perhaps causing even more issues.
To make matters even worse for TRON’s founder, however, users have come up directly, claiming that they HAVE BEEN picked but labeled as “ineligible” for the giveaway.
“Glitch was not in Twitter’s process it was in your process buddy check my name and profile. I followed you and even retweeted but still I m not the winner”, this was one response directed to Justin Sun.
Another user also points out that he has been the winner of one of the draws, and yet he’s not getting his Tesla.
But sir, pic.twitter.com/sUVss63s63
— Pennykoin-Dev-Jerry ‘giving away privacy’ (@pennykoin1) March 28, 2019
Is There Another Side?
Of course, as it is in every questionable situation, there are always two sides to it. Some users have come up, saying that the video provided in the archives has been edited to insert the glitchy appearance of the winner’s profile before he has been selected. They claim that it’s not the video that Justin Sun actually uploaded.
Looking at it, Justin Sun doesn’t seem to react at all when the glitch happens, which may, indeed, suggest, that it has been edited after the fact.
It’s also worth noting that the winner doesn’t seem to be in overly associated with Justin Sun, or with TRON, based on his Twitter profile.
So, What’s The Bottom Line?
The entire thing is definitely raising a lot of questions. For example, why are there 60 draws with the same IP hash as the one which drew the winner, but not just one? Why is there an additional condition which wasn’t stated in the announcement tweet? Why hasn’t Justin Sun uploaded the video anywhere else to debunk all the suspicion? Why people who clearly meet the winning criteria haven’t been rewarded?
Perhaps the thing which raises the most concerns is the fact that the winner himself doesn’t know if he actually won:
I really want to know if I am the #Tesla winner, I am very excited but I do not know why @justinsuntron deleted the message, can someone help me to be certain of this situation, I hope it is not a joke even with that thanks 🙂@Tronfoundation#trx #tron $trx #crypto pic.twitter.com/xNzElMSy8l
— XRP_UzGar ⛓-฿ TRX (@uzgaroth) March 28, 2019
One thing is clear, though, the suspicion is only going to grow until Justin Sun provides a reasonable and clear explanation of what happened.
UPDATE: Justin Sun Responds
Tron had recently published their response to the above claims:
“On Monday, my team on Weibo gave away the Mini through Weibo, and the community has responded happily. The draw brought great, positive attention to the industry. On Twitter, the team used a tweet randomizer tool because Twitter does not have an official drawing mechanism. The team was unfamiliar with the tool and performed a number of test draws to understand how it worked, which has led to some misunderstandings about how we did what we did. We also were unaware there would be concern about the video not being live-streamed and that it would create ambiguity and controversy.
To address those concerns, I decided to create a live-streamed draw to show we are open about everything we do. The person picked in that draw has already contacted us and will receive the Tesla. I’ve also decided to give a Tesla to @uzgaroth.”