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  1. Facebook is working on a coin to be used on WhatsApp

The lid has been blown off Facebook’s secretive cryptocurrency by the New York Times, which cites multiple anonymous sources in a new report.

  • Echoing Bloomberg’s report late last year, Facebook appears to be focusing on using its cryptocurrency to send money between people.
  • This kind of app-based transaction model is rumored to be in the Venmo style, or as is insanely popular in China, via the WeChat app, where a huge percentage of sales are made.
  • But Facebook is looking at gifts and money transfers – not payments – with crypto.
  • The scarce information rounded-up suggests that Facebook will go for a “stablecoin,” which is a type of crypto that is purposefully designed to avoid the problems of price volatility that you see from Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.
  • Multiple people told the Times that Facebook is looking at “pegging the value of its coin to a basket of different foreign currencies, rather than just the dollar.”
  • That means it wouldn’t be interesting to speculators and crypto-traders, and act more like a known quantity, and theoretically, safe from wild fluctuations.
  • Would it be on a decentralized blockchain (the great hope that supports Bitcoin et. al)?
  • That would depend entirely on how much Facebook would retain control, and how much regulatory burden it is willing to endure, and their blockchain or otherwise setup.
  • Reports suggest Facebook has approached cryptocurrency exchanges to trade its coin, which would reduce the vetting and KYC processes (Wikipedia).
  • There are reportedly more than 50 Facebook employees working on cryptocurrency and blockchain projects, sectioned off from other Facebook staff.
  • The Times suggests it may launch as early as mid this year.
  • What is Facebook hoping to make from this? WeChat’s instant transfer payment system is famously free, as long as you have money stored in your account. How much will Facebook try and skim off the top?

2. Huawei CEO slams Samsung Galaxy Fold design as ‘not good’ (Android Authority).

3. Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED: much more than just a punch-hole (Android Authority).

4. YouTube is disabling comments on videos with children for the safety of minors (YouTube).

5. Tesla is a) now selling the cheaper $35k Model 3 and b) unexpectedly closing most of its brick and mortar stores, and switching to an online-only sales model (Business Insider). CEO Elon Musk said this would allow vehicle prices to fall by about 6 percent, on average, which has already happened. Musk also said in 2017 the boutique stores had “barely touched the surface” of what was possible. Quite a change.

6. Amazon has decided to stop selling Amazon Dash buttons globally (CNET). If you own one it’ll still work for now.

7. Also, Amazon has set up ‘Amazon Day,’ a way to schedule all deliveries for a house to a single day, once a week, to lower carbon footprints (Ars Technica).

8. Robot-makers shipped 35,880 robots to US factories last year, up 7 percent from 2017 (Axios).

9. Weezer made an island in Fortnite to promote its new album (Engadget). (All too often, this ‘Fellow Kids’ stuff usually signals the peak is in.)

10. New Horizons photos show more Kuiper Belt weirdness: First Ultima Thule, now a lack of small craters. Where’s the small stuff? (

11. Advice: “Record interviews with your kid” (Offspring).

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