Is NASA Developing Its Own Cryptocurrency?

NASA are not developing their own cryptocurrency, apparently.
Christopher McFadden
Apollo 11 silver dollar reverseJill Westeyn/Wikimedia Commons

NASA, it turns out, is not developing its own cryptocurrency. This is probably no surprise to any of you.

But here is the story of how an innocuous tweet turned into some of the best fake news this year. Hold on tight!


A classic example of fake news

You may well have missed the recent announcement that NASA is developing its own cryptocurrency. As it turns out you didn't miss anything as it was all something of a misunderstanding.

According to Gizmodo, a former employee of theirs William Turton who now works for Bloomberg made an interesting announcement. 

Within moments of Turton making his tweet, many other enterprising bloggers turned his innocuous tweet in something apparently revolutionary - NASA has announced they are developing their own cryptocurrency!

As you've probably already worked out, it appears they might have been in error -- to say the least.

"NSA" clearly stands for the National Security Agency not NASA for starters. In fact, they have long been known for their research and development into all things encryption-related

But if it had only stopped there wouldn't really be a problem. It appears that the mighty Forbes also made the same critical error. Forbes contributor Naeem Aslam also misread the tweet and wrote an entire blog about the subject. 

Forbes later noticed the error and deleted Aslam's blog without any explanation. Of course, it is not possible to know their motives but we can probably assume it because the content was clearly wrong.

According to Gizmodo, "Aslam did not immediately respond to our request for comment on why he thought “NSA” meant “NASA” and “crypto” obviously meant “cryptocurrency.”

But it gets worse...

Sadly Forbes was not the only publisher to fall into the trap. Many other highly respected cryptocurrency sites also made the same error. 

Cointelegraph, Alles Over Crypto, Switzerland's the Cryptonomist and Finance Magnates picked up the fake news and ran with it. 

Another crypto site, CoinDesk, can also be added to the list with the exception that they were at least a little more skeptical. Their article's author, Daniel Palmer, did at least note "that Neuberger’s comment may indicate that the NSA is working on a cryptography technology, not a cryptocurrency, with the twin meanings of the term ‘crypto.’" 

NASA crypto fake news
Source: Maxpixel

CoinDesk's article has since been updated to reflect the truth of the situation. 

Absolute madness, but a great lesson for all involved ensuring they carry out some basic fact-checking before publishing material of this potential magnitude! 

So, no NASA is not developing their own cryptocurrency!

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