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Facebook finally rolls out a small pilot of its Novi digital wallet

Facebook launches Novi, a new digital wallet for cryptocurrencies, hires Coinbase to help with the logistics

Facebook's cryptocurrency plan is shaping as it partners Coinbase to launch Novi in the U.S. and Guatemala. Novi, which is being rolled out in a small pilot program in the U.S. and Guatemala, will enable people to send and receive money using the Paxos stablecoin securely and with no fees.

According to Facebook's David Marcus, the head of F2 (Facebook Financial), the pilot is meant to "test core feature functions, and operational capabilities in customer care and compliance," in addition to trying to demonstrate a viable use of stablecoins for payments.

Facebook first announced its plans of stepping into the crypto space two years ago. It initially planned to launch its cryptocurrency Diem (formerly called Libra) in conjunction with its digital wallet - Novi, but the company is finding it difficult to convince regulators of its cryptocurrency plan.

The company is not backing down on its plans to launch Diem despite the backlash from regulators. Marcus acknowledged in his announcement that there is still plans for Diem. However, the announcement doesn't give any update on when that will be, though.

Coinbase would be storing the cryptocurrencies that Facebook will offer to users who sign up for the early test version of the Novi wallet. Coinbase supports Novi via Coinbase Custody, which keeps funds secure with its software that manages crypto transactions.