“Facebook wanted to seize the day, ‘carpe diem’, but failed”

La legend tells that the great Chinese poet Li Bai drowned one night of drinking while trying to fish for the reflection of the moon in the water of a lake. Facebook wanted to seize the day, Carpe Diem, but did not succeed. His cryptocurrency project, first called Facebook Coin in 2018, then Libra in 2019, then Diem a year later, was sold on Monday January 31 for a pittance to the Californian bank Silvergate.

However, when it was launched, the social network panicked the world and governments by claiming to mint money. Thanks to him, no more intermediaries and astronomical fees to transfer money from one country to another. No more fears either for consumers in countries with weak or devalued currencies. Mark Zuckerberg stronger than the States.

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To appease critics, the founder of Facebook and boss of his parent company Meta had taken some precautions. The currency was to be managed and issued by an independent association, Diem, based in Switzerland. In addition, its value would be more stable than bitcoin, as it is indexed to a basket of currencies including the dollar and the euro. Thirty partners were involved, including a few points like Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Uber, Spotify and even the French Iliad.

Make way for metaverses

Nothing worked, regulators and authorities pounded the project. From 2020, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal left the ship, forcing the group to reduce its ambitions, then to abandon the case. “It had become clear during our discussions with the American authorities that the project could not advance further”justified the director general of the association, Stuart Levey.

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Facebook thus closes the payment chapter of its short existence. However, it was its priority in 2018, the one that could make its Messenger and WhatsApp messaging instruments for instant financial transactions. In its frantic search for innovations to monetize its formidable global audience, Facebook is therefore changing horses. Place in metaverse. Hence the name change of the company. Here again, it is a question of revolutionizing uses, this time granting a parallel world where everyone will learn, be entertained and… consume. Outdated among young people by the TikTok revolution, the social network is looking for a rebound. But by dint of agitating to seize all the passing moons, he risks, like the unfortunate poet of the Tang dynasty, falling from the boat.

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