Is Facebook about to finally launch its cryptocurrency?

And could Facebook’s new cryptocurrency be the new Bitcoin?

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A man handles a transaction on his smartphone using Facebook's new crytocurrency diem

Image source: Getty Images

Much of the discussion surrounding cryptocurrencies in the past few months has revolved around anything but Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB).

Everyone wanted to know about Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC)’s rise to over US$60,000 earlier in the year. And then it’s subsequent crash this month to below US$30,000. Or Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) rise to US$3,000 (and its own crash afterwards). Or… just Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE). Even (heaven help us) Shiba Inu (CRYPTO: SHIB).

But what of Facebook’s crypto plans? Not so much. Facebook caused much fanfare a few years ago with its announcement that it wanted to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra. But a series of setbacks and pushbacks following the initial announcement resulted in the project being put on ice. Well, that ice might be thawing.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) this week, Facebook may be imminently about to launch its Libra coin take two. But it won’t be called Libra, for one.

Diem (as in ‘Carpe Diem’) is the new name. Instead of the original proposal, which would have had a Swiss-based Libra pegged to a basket of global currencies and sovereign debt instruments, Diem will instead be tied to the value of just the US dollar.

The AFR reports that a “developer close to the Diem stablecoin” reckons Diem will “probably launch in the next 6 months”. Diem will reportedly consist of a ‘payments system’ that will allow users to send Diem through a new app called Novi.

Facebook’s apps (including Facebook, as well as Instagram and Whatsapp) will eventually be able to host Diem payments as well. Depending on customer demand, Diem could eventually make its way to retailers as a full payments system.

It’s not just Facebook either…

The AFR reports that it’s not just Mark Zuckerberg that has crypto aspirations. Reportedly, the US payments giants Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc (NYSE: V) also have plans to implement a cryptocurrency linked to the US dollar – USDC – into their payment networks.

We could be seeing the future of payments in the making here, folks. So keep an eye on this space!

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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Facebook, Mastercard, and Visa. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Bitcoin, Facebook, Mastercard, and Visa. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Facebook and Mastercard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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