Investor Alert

The Wall Street Journal

Jan. 26, 2022, 9:18 p.m. EST

Facebook’s foray into crypto is quietly ending

Peter Rudegeair, Liz Hoffman

Facebook’s ambitious effort to bring cryptocurrency to the masses has failed.

The Diem Association, the consortium Facebook founded in 2019 to build a futuristic payments network, is winding down and selling its technology to a small California bank that serves bitcoin and blockchain companies for about $200 million, a person familiar with the matter said.

The bank, Silvergate Capital Corp.  (NYS:SI) , had earlier reached a deal with Diem to issue some of the stablecoins — which are backed by hard dollars and designed to be less volatile than bitcoin and other digital currencies — that were at the heart of the effort.

The sale represents an effort to squeeze some remaining value from  a venture that was challenged  almost from the start. Facebook, now Meta Platforms Inc. ,  launched the project in 2019 as Libra , pitching it as a way for the social network’s billions of users to spend money as easily as sending a text message.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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