Libra started out as a big project, with Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Uber, eBay, and Coinbase listed as supporters. The plan was to create a so-called “stablecoin” that would be bound to the US dollar and backed by the Libra Association, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. That was how it was revealed in June 2019, however, by the fall of that year, Visa, eBay, Mastercard, and other major supporters had all pulled out of the Libra Association.

From a political or public perspective, it hasn’t been straightforward for Facebook to release much in the last few years, and the community is understandably suspicious of pretty much all the company plans. But now that cryptocurrency coins are all the trend again, the Associated Press notes that Facebook’s coin, now known as the Diem Association, is already on track to debut this year, and that the Association’s headquarters have been relocated from Switzerland to the United States.

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The name change happened gradually in December, and the proposal has been significantly scaled down. Despite this, the Diem Association has 25 members, namely Uber, Lyft, and Shopify, as well as the cryptocurrency company Coinbase. The consortium also includes venture capital companies Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, and Thrive Capital.

According to the Associated Press, Libra’s original goal was to become a digital currency to aid the unbanked in developed countries around the world by encouraging capital to be traded more freely on networks like WhatsApp. However, the transfer to the United States, which comes after regulatory pushback in the EU, represents a further retreat for the Diem project.

However, it’s unclear what Facebook will do with Diem if and when it becomes a reality, or if this will give Congress another justification to be wary of the firm’s business projects.

“A big step of our dialogue with regulators has been a phased approach to launch,” stated Christian Catalini, Diem’s chief economist, speaking to CNBC. “We are going to be phasing in different functionalities and use cases, applications in different areas.”

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