Facebook launched, on Tuesday (19), its “Novi” digital wallet. The “little pilot”, as the company’s head of payments, David Marcus, described takes place in the United States and Guatemala.
Despite the launch of the portfolio, the company is not yet placing its cryptocurrency “diem” on the market. Both products underwent name changes last year after criticism in the financial market. At first, the digital currency would be called “pound” and the wallet, “calibrate”.
At the time, regulators and central banks raised concerns that its release could affect financial stability, erode control over monetary policy and threaten privacy.
The landscape hasn’t changed, after Marcus made the announcement on his social networks, a group of US lawmakers said Facebook couldn’t be trusted to manage cryptocurrencies and asked the platform to immediately stop the pilot.
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According to Marcus, the goal in putting the wallet into practice first in the US and Guatemala is to allow family members to send money across borders and help people who “have been left out of the current financial system.”
without the diem, the wallet will have the pax dollar (USDP), a currency considered stable and which Marcus says has “operated successfully for more than three years and has important regulatory and consumer protection attributes.” In addition, Facebook has partnered with Coinbase for this first moment.
The company’s head of payments said that this does not mean that it will not release the diem, but that it waits for it to be regularized before entering the portfolio.
According to Marcus, this pilot will serve to test the core functions of the operational features of customer service and compliance.
Democratic US Senators Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith expressed their opposition to Facebook’s two-year effort to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet, reported Reuters.
“Facebook is once again pursuing digital currency plans on an aggressive schedule and has already launched a pilot for a payments infrastructure network, although these plans are inconsistent with the real financial regulatory landscape,” the senators wrote in a letter to the president -Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg.
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“Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risk and keep consumers safe has proven to be totally inadequate,” the senators wrote.
A novi spokesperson said: “We are looking forward to responding to the committee’s letter.”