After years of effort, Meta’s cryptocurrency initiative has collapsed under the weight of regulatory scrutiny.
The Diem Association, formerly known as the Libra Association, is considering selling its assets and returning money to investors, according to a Bloomberg report. There’s not much to sell, though. The company doesn’t have much in the way of physical assets—just some intellectual property. Perhaps the most valuable part of the association is its engineers. Diem is reportedly looking for a “new home” for them.
Mark Zuckerberg first announced the project in 2019, back when his company was named Facebook and the project was named Libra. He said the cryptocurrency would serve as the foundation for payments within Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Zuckerberg managed to convince dozens of companies to become founding members of the backing organization, including Visa, MasterCard, Uber, Lyft, eBay, Spotify, and Andreessen Horowitz.
Libra was to be managed via blockchain, with member organizations processing and verifying transactions. Originally, it was planned to be backed by conventional currencies and other stable assets, making it a so-called stablecoin. (Eventually, though, that scope was reduced to focus on the US dollar alone.)