Facebook launches digital currency wallet

Facebook has finally announced the launch of its digital currency wallet, Novi, after months of speculation surrounding its debut.

The social media giant has chosen to use the Paxos Dollar Stablecoin after its own cryptocurrency, Diem, failed to impress investors.

Facebook’s head of Novi wallet David Marcus announced in a blog post that the company had started its pilot in parts of the US as well as Guatemala.

Users are able to download the app on iPhone or Android devices and register with a government-issued ID.

Marcus also added that transferring money between wallets will be free.

US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is now providing services for Novi after the exchange’s co-founder Marc Andreessen is on the Facebook board.

READ MORE: Facebook outage cost retailers “thousands” in sales

Facebook’s decision to ditch Diem has not come as much of a surprise after the initiative received widespread criticism from regulators since it was first announced in 2019.

Regulators were concerned over the social media giant’s plan to operating its own currency.

Marcus, who was also heading up Diem when it was first announced said the company’s support for its currency “has not changed.”

“We intend to migrate the wallet to the Diem payment network once it receives regulatory approval,” he added.

Facebook also plans to make Novi compatible with other digital wallets in the future.

Stablecoins are the industry’s answer to the volatility of the market which puts off investors and has raised concerns for the market’s regulators.

Stablecoins are pegged to assets such as gold or fiat currency as a way of keeping them stable.

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