Facebook Metaverse Drive Could See Diem Stablecoin Play a Key Part
Facebook’s decision to partner with the crypto exchange Coinbase on its pilot for the digital wallet Novi is attracting scrutiny from tech, political, and crypto observers – and some are starting to believe that the long-awaited Diem stablecoin project may soon play a key role as the company continues its drive toward a metaverse-themed future.
As reported yesterday, Coinbase will provide custody and cold storage services to a select number of users, making use of the Pax Dollar (USDP) stablecoin in Guatemala and the United States.
But as Facebook pivots toward the metaverse, the signs are pointing toward a future that will likely involve a combination of virtual worlds and Diem.
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg started talking up his metaverse plans in summer this year, and industry observers say that these plans are nothing if not grand – a bid to Facebookify the world, no less. As the dawn of Web 3.0 approaches, Facebook wants to reinvent itself as a crucial central point of a coming tech revolution.
Arguably a close thing to an existing metaverse thus far has been the runaway Sky Mavis hit game Axie Infinity, whose in-game currency is the Ethereum (ETH)-based axie infinity shards (AXS) token.
A similar Facebook-led metaverse venture could seek to do the same with Diem.
Indeed, the sea change is so grand that Facebook could even get a name change to mark its new course, a senior The Verge reporter claimed.
Any metaverse plan would almost certainly involve some form of digital currency. And in the long term, this is less likely to be an established stablecoin like USDP – and more likely, some would suggest, to be a token that Facebook has been working on behind closed doors for a number of years, namely Diem (formerly Libra).
Not everyone in the world of social media appears to be happy about Facebook’s new direction. The Twitter founder and bitcoin (BTC) proponent Jack Dorsey chimed into a metaverse discussion with a bleak-sounding warning about what the future might look like if Zuckerberg gets his way.
The outspoken Bitcoiner and independent developer Udi Wertheimer speculated that Facebook’s “insistence on launching a cryptocurrency” and developing a metaverse “means one thing,” namely that “Zuckerberg [has] had enough of running a company” and instead “wants to run a country.”
Reacting to the possible Facebook name-change news, Wertheimer also opined that it was “absolutely insane that the Facebook brand” had been “dragged through so much mud that they’re willing to get rid of it altogether” – a reference to the torrid past few weeks the firm has experienced.
After an embarrassing recent outage that took down not only Facebook, but also its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, a whistleblowing former employee then publically accused the firm of putting its bottom line ahead of its users’ wellbeing, leaking scores of damaging internal documents to the press.
American lawmakers, long wary of both Facebook and its crypto-related motives, immediately took to the warpath upon hearing the Novi news.
A group of senators comprising Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith penned a letter to Zuckerberg, stating, per a press release made public by Schatz’s office,
“Facebook is once again pursuing digital currency plans on an aggressive timeline and has already launched a pilot for a payments infrastructure network, even though these plans are incompatible with the actual financial regulatory landscape.”
And the senators refused to pull their punches, adding that “Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risks and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient.”
Many agreed, and similar sentiments were expressed on a separate thread, with one writing that this was the “first time politicians [had] said something true.”
But some were not so sure, with a Redditor warning that the politicians had an anti-crypto “agenda,” explaining:
“As much as I agree that Facebook has lizard-level leadership, politicians aren’t likely trying to stop Facebook for the good of the people. They’re more likely concerned the level of adoption it would bring to crypto, and the impact on their campaign contributions.”
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