Facebook’s crypto wallet Novi is inching forward with a small pilot in the U.S. and Guatemala

Facebook, a social media giant, has tapped Coinbase and Paxos for its forthcoming Novi digital wallet project, which kicked off its pilot testing phase in the United States and Guatemala on Tuesday.

Facebook has finally started rolling out Novi digital wallet

David Marcus, the co-creator and a board member of Diem, a cryptocurrency project initiated by Facebook, also tweeted about this news:

Novi, a Facebook subsidiary developing the wallet, will allow users to execute fast and free digital currency transfers. The wallet was initially set to pair with Libra, the Facebook-initiated stablecoin project now dubbed Diem, but Novi scaled back its ambitions following withering criticism from financial regulators. As uncertainty hangs over Diem, Novi moved ahead with Pax Dollar for the pilot.

Still, Marcus said that “Novi’s support for Diem hasn’t changed, and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live. We care about interoperability, and we want to do it right.”

“Beyond the pilot, our business model is clear,” Marcus added. “We’re a challenger in payments. We’ll offer free person-to-person payments using Novi. Once we have a solid customer base, we’ll offer cheaper merchant payments and make a profit on merchant services.”

At the moment, customer funds will be custodied with Coinbase, which manages $180 billion in assets. Novi said Coinbase’s trust company would hold the pilot users’ funds as its custody provider.

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