Facebook and its digital currency partners are expected to launch Diem, formerly known as Libra, for a small-scale pilot run later this year, according to a CNBC report on Tuesday.
The anonymous source of the media house detailed that the stablecoin will be launched in a limited form and will only be pegged to the US dollar. Though the Diem Association is yet to make any formal announcement, the pilot is expected to be small-scale, and the consortium will largely focus on transactions between individual customers.
This is not the first insider’s speculation on the launch of Diem as an earlier report anticipated the launch to be in January 2021.
A Repackaged Digital Currency
Facebook first unveiled its digital currency project in mid-2019 and formed a non-profit consortium with many high-profile names in technology and payments. Facebook has an existing user base of more than 2.8 billion across the globe and owns three top social media platforms: Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
The move quickly alerted the global regulators for the threats on the existing monetary system from a private player. Many partners, including Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Stripe and few others, left the consortium to avoid negative relations with watchdogs.
The regulatory backlash on Diem even forced the consortium to make changes in the originally proposed digital currency and also rebranded the project. In addition, it made a few key hires to lead the ambitious project.
Earlier, Diem officials hinted that the project is moving forward at a fast pace despite the legal complications. “A big step of our dialogue with regulators has been a phased approach to launch,” Christian Catalini, Diem’s Chief Economist, told CNBC earlier. “We are going to be phasing in different functionalities and use cases, applications in different areas.”
“Once we get the green light, we will start experimenting with a small number of users and a small number of players.”