Bitcoin has always been kind of a mess, but surely that doesn't mean all cryptocurrencies are. Facebook is hoping you won't think so. This week, the New York Times shared the news that the social network of social networks is working on its own crypto.
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Since Facebook became the singular place where you remember birthdays, see wedding/dog/baby/vacation photos, and chat with friends and relatives, the company also wants to be the place you go to send and receive money from those friends and relatives. A cryptocurrency as envisioned by Facebook would be a secure, international, and frictionless means of transferring funds. The Times reports that units of the proposed crypto would be pegged to multiple currencies around the world, to keep it more or less stable. (Also, yes, you would have to pay taxes on any crypto, since the IRS considers it property rather than money.)
A few things to keep in mind about this news: Facebook is not immune to gigantic data breaches. The company has made noises about connecting your profile to your private banking data before. Catfishers and romance scammers love Facebook. We already lose five and a half years of our lives to social media, and we're also already pretty attached to Facebook in particular. Even if you do quit, Facebook will still track you and your data to make money by advertising to you. When this company offers something that sounds too good to be true, many times already and many times going forward, that's because it is.