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A technical intro

Long Story, short. A technical guide to Nugget News

Nugget News rethinks the way we publish news online. We believe we can fight fake news, encourage high-quality journalism and promote transparency all at once. Let us briefly explain how.


This introduction is addressed to readers with technical knowledge. We suppose you are familiar with things like blockchains (you know how they work, more or less) and smart contracts.
If you have no clue what they are, you can read the non-technical intro, here.

Here’s an introductory video, watch it or carry on reading.

To help you understand, below we make use of the following example:

Someone claims that, on July 20th 1969, the Apollo 11 mission failed and 2 astronauts were stuck on the Moon.

(If you think this example is unrealistic, just Google it).


Let’s start with a bit of vocabulary:

  • Nugget: A nugget is the basic unit of information. It’s made of a short text—together with any multimedia resource— and can be published by anyone. It is stored on the blockchain, publicly available but immutable. Users cast votes on its truthfulness by staking their reputation.
Example Nugget
This nugget is still open to receive votes. So far, no one reviewed it (0 reputation at stake)

  • NewsFryer: It’s the blockchain equivalent of traditional publishers. Users connect to a NewsFryer and receive updates on its activity. It accepts and publishes nuggets but also facilitates their review (see below).
  • Sauce: Users can rate nuggets by submitting further evidence—sauces—to either confirm or disprove them. Sauces can be photos, videos, articles, interviews, … anything and users can create them only after staking some of their reputation (spices). Nuggets only store pointers to sauces in the blockchain, authors retain full ownership of them.
Example Sauce
The reviewer (0x603Cf70dbEB554ebf2e7580…) has assigned a rating of 0/10 (totally fake) to the nugget. It has also provided an article featuring interviews to the creators of the fake video.
  • Nugget Rating: When enough reputation (coming from different users) is staked to cast votes on a specific nugget, Nugget News computes a final rating. It is the opinion of the majority of reviewers (weighted by the reputation at stake, to be precise). The reviewers who voted with the majority get back their staked reputation (plus a bonus), others lose it.
Example Nugget Rating
The final rating assigned by Nugget News is 0/10 (totally fake). The total amount of reputation (spices) staked to review this nugget is 11.
  • Spices: Reputation staked by a reviewer to review a nugget.


Now, you may wonder: “Who can write nuggets?”.

Well, everyone. If they have something they think is important or something they care to know more about. Chances are others will find it interesting too and wait for reviewers to give more details. There’s no fixed format for a nugget, but the more concise the simpler for reviewers to judge and the more attractive to them.

Also, zealous users can donate any amount (of ETHs) to a nugget, which will be automatically rewarded to honest reviewers (remember: a nugget is a smart contract, it can do many things alone).

Unconfirmed nuggets are displayed at the top of Nugget Alpha dashboard.


Next, it is important to better explain the role of sauces. They represent any form of structured information relating to a nugget, like the standard newspaper article or a relevant interview on Instagram.

The nugget smart contract stores a pointer to each sauce but NewsFryers can enforce different policies regarding sauces ownership. Two (extreme) possibilities are:

  • Letting reviewers store them on proprietary servers—potentially making users pay to see them.
  • Forcing reviewers to store them publicly, for instance on a distributed filesystem (e.g. IPFS).

The second option is the one adopted by The Great Fryer, the NewsFryer used in the demo.

What about readers?

Do readers notice that they are using Nugget News?

Hope so.

First, they have the power to influence the topics covered by reviewers, since they can write, upvote/downvote nuggets and make donations.

Also, they receive rated nuggets directly in their Reddit (or Facebook) feed so that they can scroll and read without worries. Zero effort.

Lastly, when you share a nugget with someone, they will know from its rating if the nugget is real or just another WhatsApp scam. No need to trust you (sorry).

Try it!

When you access Nugget News Alpha, you will be assigned an address (it looks like this: ‘0xB8746F2vgh3846….’) on our test blockchain.

You will also receive 100 (fake) ETH that you can use to make donations and create nuggets.

You can review nuggets if you want, but don’t forget to register as reviewer (from the NewsFryer panel) first!

Great! You’re ready to try Nugget News Alpha. Grab your token and click here:

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