There are two sides to every coin and every narrative. When it comes to the pending launch of the long-awaited, highly vaunted Facebook-baced Diem token that’s especially true.
On one side of the coin, there’s a glowing narrative foisted by media reports stating that Diem’s launch is “only weeks away.” However, those news articles are based on the same marketing blog post written by Facebook employee and Diem co-founder, David Marcus. So of course it’s going to be wildly positive and optimistic.
In the last paragraph of the positioning blog, Marcus writes that the Facebook digital wallet – named Novi – is market ready:
“Change is long overdue. It’ll happen one way or another. Novi is ready to come to market. It’s regulated, and we’re confident in our operational ability to exceed the high standards of compliance that will be demanded of us. We feel that it’s unreasonable to delay delivering the benefits of cheaper, interoperable, more accessible digital payments.”
It’s a solid narrative that Facebook’s crypto wallet is ready, but the actual Diem token itself isn’t even close to completion. In the marketing document, Marcus said more than once that the Novi wallet was ready, but he made no such reference to the status of the Diem token. He didn’t say if Diem was days, weeks, months, or years from launch.
In fact, if you read Marcus’ entire promotional piece it only alludes to the Novi wallet being well suited to Stablecoins in general and does not directly mention the Diem token at all – not even once. The reason for the glaring absence by omission in Marcus’ puff piece might be found in a different media article written by journalist Frank Chaparro and posted over on the Block. This leads us to the other side of the coin, and the other side of the narrative, regarding the Diem project.
Chaparro’s news article point blank states that the Novi wallet project is trying to work with other Stablecoins in a possible effort to bypass the Diem token. There appears to be another holdup in the Diem token launch, which has been on pause since mid-2019.
“The nonprofit Diem Association has yet to begin minting tokens, despite announcing a partnership with the crypto-friendly bank Silvergate over four months ago. Sources attribute the delay to regulatory headwinds. Novi has been in talks with stablecoin providers Circle and Paxos to potentially use either USDC or PAX, according to three sources briefed on the situation,”
He went on to state that the Diem partnership with Facebook was a key focus of Silvergate Bank’s second quarter earnings call in July, however, he notes that there have been many questions since then with few answers.
“A spokesman for the bank [Silvergate] did not respond to a message seeking clarity about the timeline for the partnership [with Diem] to go live...A source close to the Diem Association said that although Diem has not shut down, the organization is effectively a zombie organization. ‘They are looking for new paths, but the chances of success seem slim,’ the person said. Michael Crittenden, an external spokesman for Diem, declined to comment,”
This other side of the Diem coin narrative is extremely negative and bleak, in stark contrast to the other narrative espousing that Diem is only “weeks from launch.” In actuality, it could be much longer before we see a cryptocurrency out of the Facebook-baced Diem Associaiton – if we ever do.
On The Flipside
- It’s very surprising to see news outlets such as CapX and The Financial Times rely so heavily on promotional pablum from a co-founder of a company they’re writing about.
- Usually that type of marketing content belongs on the paid advertising pages rather than earned media coverage.
- Both “news” articles were highly biased and misleading.
Why You Should Care?
News media outlets have a responsibility to present stories in an objective and balanced manner. Especially in the crypto space where stories are often filled with FUD, they can equally be packed with unrealistic “Hope-ium” – neither type of fake news benefits readers or investors.