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The Wall Street Journal: Facebook’s foray into crypto is quietly ending

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.  SI, -2.52%, 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. FB, -1.84%,  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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