In 2019 the decision of Mark Zuckerberg caused a great stir to approach the Blockchain world and create a cryptocurrency, which according to some would have been the investment of the century given its solid foundations.
The plans for it went up in smoke when Facebook, which is transformed into "Meta", this year has chosen to close definitively with cryptocurrencies, announcing, moreover, that its metaverse, that is its virtual reality, would have nothing to do with Blockchain and NFT.
Meta Platforma Inc sold its stake in the company for approximately $ 2,000 million to DIEM at Silvergate Capital, that is to the same company with which in May 2021 it had entered into a partnership as this was the exclusive issuer of the stablecoin DIEM USD.
With the sale of DIEM, Facebook is for now definitively closing with the Blockchain world, pointing to the fear of going into hostilities shown towards this project by Washington and various foreign institutions, who promised a wall against it.
The singular thing is that Facebook, now Meta, is saying goodbye to the crypto world just as US President Joe Biden signs an executive order to lay the possible future foundations for cryptocurrency regulation, which could make the markets explode.
Zuckerberg's farewell to the Blockchain also has consequences for the long-awaited metaverse of Facebook, which therefore will not be a cryptographic metaverse and will have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies and NFT.
In 2019 Facebook announces its LIBDRA / DIEM cryptocurrency. In 2022 it abandoned the project. What is changed since then?
Before understanding what it is the reason of Zuckerberg's goodbye to cryptocurrencies and the implications of this for building his metaverse, let's see some history and go back a few years, when Facebook announced that it would create his own cryptocurrency.
The news of the birth of the cryptocurrency under the Facebook brand was spread in the not too distant 2019 with the establishment of the project which was then called Libra.
To understand the extent of this maneuver, the Libra Association was controlled by Facebook, but in collaboration with important partnerships of the caliber of Visa and PayPal, for the purpose of creating a global instant payments network, also available to people who do not have a traditional bank account.
The company from a technical point of view was independent of Facebook, which acted as a member of the board of directors. In this large project, Facebook would have built its cryptocurrency: CALIBRA separately.
Immediately there was opposition from the institutional bodies, the first ever to criticize it was Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, worried about the possible use of cryptocurrency for money laundering, given the economic scope of the project and the history of Facebook involved in scandals like that of Cambridge Analytica.
The Libra project was remodeled and transformed in DIEM without betting anymore on the creation of a classic cryptocurrency, but on the birth of a stablecoin, that is still a cryptocurrency but whose price would have been pegged to the dollar. The stablecoins are in fact digital currencies, but anchored to a traditional market asset, which can be that of a legal tender currency.
These efforts also failed and the epilogue is that in January 2022, Facebook, which has become Meta, sold DIEM for $200 million and bid farewell to Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and NFT for the metaverse.
Why Facebook (Meta) said goodbye to NFT and cryptocurrencies?
The goodbye to the DIEM project has not been without any tension whatsoever for the characters involved, with the staff notified of the closure only a week before. In the last months of its life, DIEM also saw the company's leaders resign, including the co-founders Kevin Weil and David Marcus.
Hostilities of Washington upon Facebook's entry into the world of cryptocurrencies are due to the company's history, starting in 2016 when it was accused of having been used and exploited by Russian spies . Again, in 2018 there was the well-known scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, the latter accused of abusing the personal data of registered users to the social network. Facebook after all has always been under the eye of the cyclone precisely because of the accusation of collecting too much data on registered users.
The company of Zuckerberg was accused of having hosted and given too much space to the novax groups, effectively contributing to spread hostility towards vaccines to combat the Covid-19 epidemic.
However, according to the rumors of famous newspapers, like the Washington Post, accelerating the failure of the DIEM project would not have been only the obstacle Washington, but also a series of problems internal to society itself, including a contrast in the global vision between the former vice president of Facebook David Marcus and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, from whom there are no direct statements about it.
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The Facebook metaverse will have nothing to do with Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and NFTs
To understand what consequences the removal of the company Meta from Blockchain technology will have on the future metaverse, we must first of all understand what difference there is between a generic metaverse and a cryptographic metaverse.
Sticking to the generic meaning of the term metaverse, it indicates a virtual reality. A cryptographic metaverse is a virtual reality but operating on a Blockchain, which in turn can be compared to a large digital archive.
Now, the Blockchain is the same technology that cryptocurrencies and NFT use, so when you create an application, such as a metaverse, which runs on Blockchain, it is automatically inserted into a pre-established economic ecosystem, like that of cryptocurrencies and which exists regardless of reality.
Let's explain everything with a practical example: if we imagine a virtual world, that is a metaverse in which to live and play, such as that of Fortnite, when you receive prizes, buy items, use a game coin or buy a digital asset, everything exists only in that specific metaverse and does have trace of it outside when you shut down the console.
But a cryptographic metaverse operates on its own Blockchain and, even after exiting the game, it continues to have value. The cryptocurrencies you use on cryptographic metaverses such as The Sandbox or Decentraland are digital currencies that, like Bitcoin, are listed on major exchanges and can also be sold for euros or dollars.
Again, the digital assets you see in a cryptographic metaverse, such as avatars, are NFT and they too operate on Blockchain and exist outside the metaverse in the strict sense.
Let's take another practical example: the avatars and objects of the cryptographic metaverse Sandbox are NFTs, which can also be bought and sold on major exchange platforms such as OpensSea and then inserted in the metaverse.
To this whole ecosystem the Facebook metaverse will be stranger, with obvious limitation, and it will be still another closed system in itself.