Facebook, believe it or not, has been in the cryptocurrency space for over two years now. The company first announced its “Libra” cryptocurrency a few years ago, however, it hasn’t been seen in the wild ever since. Libra was later renamed to Diem. Yesterday, Facebook’s payments chief David Marcus announced (on Twitter, huh?) that the company is launching a small pilot test of its Novi cryptocurrency wallet in the US and Guatemala.
We’re doing a pilot to test core feature functions, and our operational capabilities in customer care and compliance. We’re also hopeful this will demonstrate a new stablecoin use case (as a payments instrument) beyond how they are typically used today. 2/8
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) October 19, 2021
The company says that it is piloting the Novi wallet to “test core feature functions” and to test its “operational capabilities in customer care and compliance.” “We’re also hopeful this will demonstrate a new stablecoin use case (as a payments instrument) beyond how they are typically used today,” Marcus wrote on Twitter.
The news comes around Facebook’s plans of renaming the brand. The company seems to be moving in its plans of launching a new cryptocurrency and building a new direction with the launch of a new metaverse, which is reportedly coming on October 28. However, the Novi wallet isn’t launching with the Diem cryptocurrency.
Instead, Novi will be using a stablecoin known as “Pax Dollar (USDP).” Marcus says that this currency has “been operating successfully for over three years and has important regulatory and consumer protection attributes.” In addition, Marcus has also said that Facebook has partnered with Coinbase for the pilot test.
However, Senators aren’t a lot happy with this ambitious project. Washington is drawing criticism for the whole cryptocurrency project. In a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, on Tuesday, Senators said that Facebook “cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrency when its existing ability to manage risks and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient,” reports The Verge.
In a statement to The Verge and Engadget, a Novi spokesperson said, “We look forward to responding to the Committee’s letter.” Marcus has, though, continued to say that Facebook will launch Diem cryptocurrency. “I do want to be clear that our support for Diem hasn’t changed and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live,” he wrote on Twitter.