Crypto Currency

What’s the Value of a Facebook Cryptocoin?

8,000 kinds of money. It was a chaotic, confusing time to buy your groceries. Private banks issued notes with the promise of backing in gold and silver, but their actual value was anybody’s guess. Soon other companies—drug stores, coal mines, and of course railroads, the wealthy connectors of their day—jumped into the fray.What’s old is…


8,000 kinds of money. It was a chaotic, confusing time to buy your groceries. Private banks issued notes with the promise of backing in gold and silver, but their actual value was anybody’s guess. Soon other companies—drug stores, coal mines, and of course railroads, the wealthy connectors of their day—jumped into the fray.

What’s old is new again in the hands of today’s barons of digital infrastructure.

On Thursday,The New York Timesreported new details about Facebook’s efforts to produce its own digital coin. Facebook’s first foray into blockchain will reportedly take the form of a so-called “stablecoin,” where the value of its digital currency is backed by the physical kind—in this case, a basket of global currencies. The idea is to tamp down the rampant speculation and tumult that have plagued other cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, making the coin easier to someday use to buy your gas and meals (or, who knows, your neighbor’s cat tower on Facebook Marketplace).

The company’s blockchain team has reportedly grown to more than 50 people—cordoned off, theTimessays, in a wing with restricted key-card access—and expects to release a product within six months. Facebook’s plans have been rumored since April, when the company tapped David Marcus, former head of Facebook Messenger, to helm a dedicated blockchain team.

The new coin would leverage the built-in connections of WhatsApp’s more than 1.5 billion users—and potentially billions more should the coin come to Instagram or Facebook itself. That alone would make it an instant competitor to Venmo (and its owner, PayPal), and to China’s WeChat Pay, which is attempting to make inroads globally, including in the US. Neither of those companies, however, uses a blockchain to send money, or even uses its own coin; WeChat users in China pay in yuan, just as American Venmo users pay in US dollars. Facebook’s clearest advantage, in using a coin backed by multiple currencies, would be to allow users to send payments across borders cheaply. In December, Bloomberg reported that the coin would initially be tested with WhatsApp users in India, where demand for cross-border payments is strong.

The question, however, is what a blockchain-based coin gives Facebook that tried-and-true payment methods can’t? Blockchains present an array of hurdles, especially relating to privacy. Bitcoin, for example, offers a relatively transparent record of transactions, which is no

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Crypto Currency

How much do you know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin?

How much do you know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin? mashable.com


How much do you know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin? mashable.com
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Crypto Currency

The trailer for ‘CRYPTO’ just dropped, and cryptocurrency is good now

With all the exit scams, weird meat obsessions, and cantankerous fan-boy culture, the world of cryptocurrency is kind of a drag. And that’s without even touching on the current and persistent bear market.  But all that has changed, denizens of the internet. Cryptocurrency is good now, and we owe it all to the trailer for…


With all the exit scams, weird meat obsessions, and cantankerous fan-boy culture, the world of cryptocurrency is kind of a drag. And that’s without even touching on the current and persistent bear market. 

But all that has changed, denizens of the internet. Cryptocurrency is good now, and we owe it all to the trailer for the upcoming crypto-themed action flick starring none other than Snake Plissken himself. Say hello toCRYPTO, the film that, like its eponymous subject matter, features a bunch of idiots fighting over bullshit and terrible security practices. 

The trailer for the film, featuring an appropriately bedraggled Kurt Russell, hit the internet on March 11 and oh boy did it get our blood flowing. Go ahead and take a peek. We’ll wait. 

Breathtaking, right? Did you take a moment to bathe in the reflected glory of Luke Hemsworth and Alexis Bledel. Yes? Good, let’s move on.

The story, as much as there appears to be one, follows an anti-money laundering expert’s trip to small town America and a subsequent run in with the Russian mob. But put that aside for a moment, and let’s focus on the verisimilitude of the thing. 

It can only go up.

It can only go up.

Image: screenshot / “crypto”

From the amazing file labeling system (hello “KICKBACKS”), to the apparent Coinbase knockoff DELTA COIN listing bitcoin cash at $983.74 (which, LOL),CRYPTOproves that the true cryptocurrency

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Crypto Currency

9 Questions for Facebook After Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto

presented an entirely new philosophy. For 15 years, the stated goal of Facebook has been to make the world more open and connected; the unstated goal was constructing a targeted advertising system built on nearly infinite data. Yesterday, though, Zuckerberg pronounced that the company is reversing course. The social network of the future won’t be…


presented an entirely new philosophy. For 15 years, the stated goal of Facebook has been to make the world more open and connected; the unstated goal was constructing a targeted advertising system built on nearly infinite data. Yesterday, though, Zuckerberg pronounced that the company is reversing course. The social network of the future won’t be one where everyone connects openly together, as in a town square; it will be one where more connections happen one to one, as in a living room. Instead of data permanence, data will disappear.

Facebook isn’t putting the current platform—worth roughly half a trillion dollars—in the garbage disposal. As Zuckerberg made clear in a Wednesday afternoon interview with WIRED, Facebook as we know it now will still exist. But it will change. And there will also just be something new.

It’s unclear the extent to which Facebook will ultimately push users toward privacy, and in what exact ways. But Zuckerberg controls Facebook, and his manifesto will make its gears start to turn in different directions. As that begins, here are nine important questions the company will have to think through.

1. Facebook knows how to make money in the town square. How does it make money in this new living room?

Private, encrypted messaging is hard to monetize. In our interview, Zuckerberg demurred when asked what the new business model will be after clamping down on the data firehose. The company would, he said, build the product first and figure out the financials later. Facebook does have nascent efforts in commerce and cryptocurrency, but there’s no question that figuring out revenue on the new platform will be a hard problem for Dave Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer. A former Facebook employee told me last night, “Mark is like a cartoon character who walks through a bunch of dangerous situations and always comes out on top. Dave is the guy running behind him catching the cat, stopping the ladder from tipping, deflecting the flying axe with a manhole cover.”

2. What does this do to safety on the platform?

Facebook rightly faces endless criticism for all the data it collects. But there are benefits to data collection as well. It can help stop bullies, or even potential suicides. Once those communications become private, Facebook no longer has the same powers to track and moderate. The public—from the media, to nonprofits, to academics, to individuals, to the government—also uses the public nature of Facebook to track bad behavior. If Russian intelligence operatives had just used private encrypted messaging to manipulate Americans, would they have been caught? As Facebook knows from running WhatsApp, which is already end-to-end encrypted, policing abuses gets ever harder as messages get more hidden.

In our interview, Zuckerberg explained that this, not fears about the business model, is what keeps him up at night. “There is just a clear trade-o

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Crypto Currency

Cryptography experts are already laughing at ‘Facebook Coin’

Facebook’s rumored cryptocurrency project hasn’t even launched, and yet it’s already a punchline for the tens of thousands of security professionals, cryptographers, and researchers gathered at the annual RSA conference.  On March 5, in the San Francisco Moscone Center, the hotly anticipated Cryptographers’ Panel met to discuss the future of cryptography, the internet, and e-commerce.…


Facebook’s rumored cryptocurrency project hasn’t even launched, and yet it’s already a punchline for the tens of thousands of security professionals, cryptographers, and researchers gathered at the annual RSA conference. 

On March 5, in the San Francisco Moscone Center, the hotly anticipated Cryptographers’ Panel met to discuss the future of cryptography, the internet, and e-commerce. Of course cryptocurrency came up, with a mention of the so-called Facebook Coin drawing perhaps the biggest laugh of the talk. 

Speaking of the problems inherent in putting even great research ideas into practice, panelist and cryptography expert Paul Kocher (known for, among other things, co-discovering Spectre) told attendees that the blockchain only makes things trickier. 

“[The] idea of combining Bitcoin’s theft mitigation and Facebook’s privacy seems particularly toxic for users.”

“When you add the froth of blockchain into there, these just sort of things that seem crazy just keep amplifying,” he explained. “I think the latest one that I saw is one where you can take Bitcoin where you can lose your money, Facebook you can lose your privacy, and now t

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