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Facebook-backed Diem Association may be close to dissolving

The Diem Association is in talks to sell its assets, according to a new report.

Representation of cryptocurrency and logo of Diem displayed on a screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on May 13, 2021. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Karissa Bell
Karissa Bell|@karissabe|January 25, 2022 8:49 PM

It’s looking more and more likely that Diem, Meta’s ill-fated cryptocurrency previously known as Libra, will never actually materialize. The Diem Association is reportedly “weighing a sale of its assets as a way to return capital to its investor members,” Bloomberg reports.

It’s unclear what assets the Diem Association owns, but the report notes the group is talking to bankers about selling its intellectual property and finding "a new home for the engineers that developed the technology.”

If a sale were to happen, it would seem to be the final nail in the coffin for Diem, the cryptocurrency project that Mark Zuckerberg has championed. Plans to get the stablecoin off the ground have stalled for years amid regulatory pushback and lawmaker concerns. After first launching as Libra, several high-profile partners pulled out in 2019.

Last fall, Facebook started a small pilot of Novi, the cryptocurrency wallet formerly known as Calibra. But the fact that Novi was forced to launch without support for Diem — it used a different stablecoin called the Pax Dollar — was a sign that Diem's future remained uncertain. Longtime Facebook exec David Marcus, who oversaw the social network’s crypto plans, said at the time that Facebook remained committed to Diem. “I do want to be clear that our support for Diem hasn’t changed and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live,” he wrote. Marcus announced a month later that he was leaving Facebook. 

A representative for the Diem Association said that Bloomberg's reporting contained unspecified "factual errors," but declined to elaborate or comment further.

Facebook-backed Diem Association may be close to dissolving