Diem gets closer to launch as Fireblocks and First introduce new payment infrastructure

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The Diem Association is progressing towards launch with a new technical upgrade that reportedly allows more financial institutions to connect with the payment network. 

Crypto security specialist Fireblocks and First Digital Asset Group, a Diem payment provider, announced Tuesday that they’ve developed a secure wallet and infrastructure that allows financial institutions to facilitate transactions on the Diem network.

Founded in 2017, First Digital Asset Group enables merchants and other institutions to accept and process both Diem and stablecoin payments.

The Diem network appears ready to begin onboarding new clients, provided they qualify as a Virtual Asset Service Provider, or VASP. The Financial Action Task Force defines a VASP as any business that’s involved in the exchange, transfer, or safekeeping of virtual assets.

The partnership between Fireblocks and First is intended to “accelerate the adoption of Diem payments” and ensure that any capable financial institution can connect to the network, according to Michael Shaulov, Fireblocks’ CEO.

Ran Goldi, CEO of First, added:

“As custodians, wallets, exchanges, PSPs, and other VASPs prepare for the Diem network, we’re excited to be working with Fireblocks to deliver everything a VASP needs, from risk to on/off-chain communication, and liquidation.”

Diem Association underwent a total rebranding in December, changing its name from Libra Association, a project that was perceived to be closely associated with Facebook. Although Facebook did introduce Libra in 2019, and remains a key backer of Diem today, the Association is overseen by 27 member companies.

While a definitive date for Diem hasn’t been set, the network expects to go live later this year. As reported by the Financial Times in Nov 2020, Diem is currently waiting for approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Organization. As of February, the company was still awaiting regulatory approval.