Facebook abandons its cryptocurrency-based payment system

Already rejected by most of the world’s governments, the cryptocurrency-based payment system that Meta/Facebook would have liked to impose as an alternative to traditional banking institutions’ services will be officially abandoned as of September 1.

Formerly known as Libra, the Diem currency backed by Mark Zuckerberg’s company will disappear without ever seeing widespread use, with developer Meta about to terminate the Diem Association, the entity formed to support the initiative. Following the sale of most of the assets held by the association, as a way of compensating investors, the project now known as Novi will cease to exist, with the few users holding funds held in digital wallets encouraged to withdraw them as soon as possible to their bank cards to avoid losing them permanently.

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It’s unclear what assets held by the Diem Association have gone on to be sold to other interested investors, but given how much interest in cryptocurrency platforms has plummeted, it’s hard to believe that Meta has recouped much of its investment in proprietary technologies.

Unlike Bitcoin, Libra/ Diem was a digital currency generated and managed directly by a private company – Facebook, which left it much easier to legally attack by any group with vested interests, from banking players keen to avoid the entrenchment of alternative trading systems at all costs to government officials motivated to keep as tight a control on money flows as possible to prevent evasion.

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Facebook’s plans to launch a stablecoin croptomoney have stalled for years amid rejection of regulatory requests and delays in necessary approvals, with world governments routinely rejecting any payment network initiatives that bypass traditional banking infrastructure. Thus, although it had already seen an official launch in 2019 under the name Libra, the project initiated by Facebook’s owner soon lost the support of several high-level partners.

The latest attempt to resuscitate the project came last fall, when Facebook announced it was starting small-scale testing of Novi, its digital wallet originally announced under the name Calibra.

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