When government regulators scared Facebook out of its Libra/Diem cryptocurrency project a while back, I didn’t think too much about it. The original project was ambitious. Libra was designed to be a stablecoin and was backed by deposits of real cash to be contributed to the Libra Association, a supporting plutocracy with a membership fee of $10 million. Founding members got an option to become validator node operators, a vote on the Libra Council, and could earn interest on their investment.
This was such a good idea that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, asked Facebook to “immediately cease implementation plans.” A 2019 letter from Rep. Waters and other legislators read, “Because Facebook is already in the hands of over a quarter of the world’s population, it is imperative that Facebook and its partners immediately cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have an opportunity to examine these issues and take action.” Chalk one up for the government.
Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) was down, but not out. Mr. Zuckerberg tried again with Novi (a digital/crypto payment wallet). In October 2021, Coinbase announced that it would support Facebook’s Novi crypto project via Coinbase Custody (Coinbase’s cold storage tools). All good. Facebook was back on track.
According to its website, Novi.com, “The Novi pilot is ending soon Novi will no longer be available for use after September 1. Before Novi goes away, we’ve made it easy for you to get your remaining balance and download your Novi information.”
Is this the last we’ll hear from Meta about crypto?
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.