Facebook’s crypto project has seen a lot of changes since the announcement of the Libra stablecoin and its Calibra wallet in June 2019. Renamed “Diem” and “Novi” respectively, these projects have also moved a bit apart, without dispersing the snarl of the world’s financial regulators. Still, the development of the Novi wallet follows its course, and 2 giants of the crypto sector now seem to lend a hand.
Facebook and its crypto: a story full of obstacles
As first indications seemed to announce last August, the Novi wallet – which is to support the Diem stablecoin initiated by Facebook – is well on its way to being operational.
The road to this point has not been easy, however, as the hegemony of the social network around the world, with its nearly 3 billion users, had immediately provoked an outcry from states and economic regulators at the mention of creating its own cryptocurrency.
The fear of a monetary destabilization of their economy, generated by this potential currency issued and dependent on a private company, had put many obstacles in the wheels of the giant from governments and their supervisory agencies.
More than 2 years later, however, the project seems about to see the light of day, as the pilot test phase of Novi will finally begin, thanks to the support of crypto giants Coinbase and Paxos.
Novi wallet makes its debut, but without Diem for now
As reported by Cointelegaph, among others, Facebook has launched its first tests of Novi using Coinbase Custody’s cold wallet (offline storage) capabilities for private key management.
Starting Tuesday, Oct. 26, a small number of users will be able to download the Novi wallet smartphone app for iOS or Android devices. They will then be able to credit their digital wallet, via a bank card, with USDP, which is the stablecoin of the dollar issued by Paxos.
Pending a possible arrival of Diem, USDP was reportedly chosen by Facebook for its important regulatory compliance and consumer protection qualities.
“The pilot phase will evaluate the basic operation of the [Novi] wallet and showcase its operational capabilities, particularly those related to customer service and compliance. Novi is also designed to be interoperable with other digital wallets. (…) We intend to launch Novi with Diem, once it receives regulatory approval and is operational.”
This time around, Facebook does seem to be on the home stretch to launch its own cryptocurrency ecosystem. Knowing that stablecoins are currently the number one concern of regulators, however, the social network has no room for error.