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Facebook Launches Novi Wallet

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Facebook has eventually initiated the pilot phase of its Novi digital wallet in Guatemala and the U.S, over two years after it was first proclaimed.

The initiated pilot program will allow users to send and receive money claiming that it will be instant, secure, and with no fees, using Paxos stablecoin (USDP), in cooperation with Coinbase which serves as a custody partner that holds the funds.

According to Facebook’s payment chief David Marcus, the pilot is expected to test core feature functions and operational capabilities in customer care and compliance, in extension to try to clarify the various use of stablecoins for payment purposes.

“Remittances are a critical way to achieve financial inclusion. Today, we’re rolling out a small pilot of the @Novi digital wallet app in two countries – the U.S. and Guatemala. People can send and receive money instantly, securely, and with no fees” David Marcus (@davidmarcus) tweet reads.

Noteworthy though is the fact that Facebook is launching Novi wallet without a notable feature: the Diem cryptocurrency that was meant to be an important part of the project.

Diem was previously known as Libra before it was changed because Facebook separated itself from the now independent entity. Diem has not gained regulators approval and is yet to launch its cryptocurrency in any country.

Libra has been criticised from the time it was first announced, with several major partners like Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, eBay all pulling out of the project a few months after it was announced.

David Marcus in his announcement noted that Novi has not given Diem up and it will launch the cryptocurrency in due time when it is ready. The announcement however did not give any news as to when that would be.

Novi and Diem have however lessened their scale and domain in comparison to Facebook’s initial announcement of a global service.

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Data Scientist, Tech Enthusiast and a Crypto Lover