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Crypto media outlets confuse NSA with NASA, say a ‘quantum cryptocurrency’ is in the works

Crypto media outlets confuse NSA with NASA, say a ‘quantum cryptocurrency’ is in the works

At least a dozen media outlets have cited a Bloomberg contributor saying that NASA was working a quantum cryptocurrency. However, the journalist was referencing the work NSA has been putting into developing encryption that would be resistant to quantum computers, showing just how little research is done in today’s fast-paced news cycle.

Forbes confuses NSA with NASA, causes a stir in crypto media

On Sep. 4, Bloomberg Technology journalist Willian Turton shared insights from Billington CyberSecurity’s 10th annual summit, where industry veterans discussed the current state and upcoming innovations in the world of cybersecurity.

Turton tweeted that Anne Neuberger, the director of NSA’s new Cybersecurity Directorate, said that the agency was working to build quantum-resistant “crypto.” The “crypto” Turton was referring to weren’t cryptocurrencies, but cryptography—the encryption that protects sensitive data such as online transactions, financial records, and email.

Turton’s tweet, however, was so grossly misunderstood that it led to one of the most high-profile business news outlets to deleting an article. Namely, Forbes contributor Naaem Aslam used Turton’s tweet as a source to write an article about NASA’s plan to create a quantum cryptocurrency.

Published on Forbes on Sep. 5, the article not only seems to have confused the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) but also came up with a narrative that it was developing its own digital currency.

Understandably, this caused quite a stir in crypto media, with multiple outlets racing to cover the monumental story.

What’s a quantum cryptocurrency?

While Forbes deleted the article in less than 24 hours, the screengrabbed thumbnail showed that it missed the point of Turton’s tweet by a mile.

Unsurprisingly, other crypto news outlets quickly picked up the story but were a little more diligent than Forbes. While most didn’t confuse NASA with the NSA, they too reported on the agency working on a cryptocurrency.

CNN journalist Kevin Collier shared screengrabs of several articles referencing NSA’s alleged digital currency, showing just how it easy it was to generate hype in the crypto space.

Collier pointed out how ridiculous these headlines were, saying the words “quantum” and “cryptocurrency” didn’t make any sense together.

The crypto community, as expected, used the opportunity to mock the outlets’ poor researching skills, with many pointing the absurdity in such headlines.

The buzz quantum-resistant cryptocurrency generated is a clear example of how the fast-paced environment of online journalism rewards only the most buzz-worthy story.

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Priyeshu Garg
Author

Priyeshu Garg

Crypto Analyst @ CryptoSlate

Priyeshu is a software engineer who is passionate about machine learning and blockchain technology. He holds an engineering degree in computer science engineering and is a passionate economist. He built his first digital marketing startup when he was a teenager, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies along with smaller firms. When he is not solving transportation problems at his company (Ola), he can be found writing about the blockchain or roller skating with his friends.

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