Meta is shutting down Novi, its short-lived cryptocurrency digital wallet. In a notice spotted the company announced it would sunset the platform on September 1st, with July 20th being the final day to add funds. Meta advised users to withdraw their balance “as soon as possible,” noting it would “attempt to transfer” any remaining money to customer bank accounts and debit cards after Novi’s final day of operation.
For the time being, the shutdown effectively marks the end of Meta’s cryptocurrency ambitions.
The company began a small plot of Novi last October. The wallet launched without support for Diem – Meta’s in-house cryptocurrency, which was previously known as Libra. One month later, David Marcus, the company’s crypto chief, left Meta. At the start of 2022, the Diem Association announced it was selling its assets and “winding down” operations.
“We are already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles,” Meta said in the statement. “You can expect to see more from us in the web3 space because we are very optimistic about the value these technologies can bring to people and businesses in the metaverse.”
When he testified before Congress in 2019, Zuckerberg tried to lay to rest any concerns
Meta launched the Novi pilot in October of last year amid scaled-back ambitions to dominate the crypto remittances space. Instead of a new Diem token Meta once backed, Novi ended up using Paxos Trust Co.’s USDP stablecoin to allow wallet users from parts of the U.S. and Guatemala to conduct transactions. Coinbase Global Inc. was safeguarding the funds.
When he testified before Congress in 2019, Zuckerberg tried to lay to rest any concerns that his company would support launching Diem — then called Libra — without regulatory approval.
Meta has already started testing NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on Instagram and recently rolled out support for NFTs on Facebook for select creators based in the US. The company is also reportedly working on a digital currency, called “Zuck Bucks,” that’s not based on the blockchain.
Last month, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also hinted at creating a digital wallet that could help you manage and store “digital clothing, art, videos, music, experiences, virtual events, and more.” The wallet would be interoperable across different metaverse experiences, reflecting the goals of the Metaverse Standards Forum that Meta and a group of other companies helped form, which calls for industry-wide standards across virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.