Meta (formerly Facebook) has announced that it will shut down its digital wallet Novi in September. The announcement means that Meta is finally putting brakes on its controversial and long-established cryptocurrency project later this year. As per the announcement, Novi digital wallet will shut down on September 1, 2022.
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Novi’s topsy-turvy journey
It appears that Novi’s existence in tech will be short-lived as Meta draws curtains to the cryptocurrency project. The Novi digital project was rolled out with a pilot program in November with some degree of custodial support from Coinbase. Right from the beginning, Novi refused to offer support to Meta’s proposed Diem cryptocurrency. Instead, it only supported USDP, a stablecoin provided by the Paxos Trust Co. during the launch.
Things took a positive turn in December when support for Diem was extended to a pilot program with WhatsApp. It allowed a few users to exchange cryptocurrency using Novi wallet within a WhatsApp chat. This was viewed as a positive step for Meta who was looking to enter the cryptocurrency space. However, just six months later, it seems like those efforts are in vain as it plans to shut down the Novi digital wallet in September.
While Novi was initially called Calibra, Diem cryptocurrency was known as Libra at one point. At the time of its announcement in June 2019, it was no stranger to controversy, with even then U.S. President Donald Trump and members of Congress criticizing the product. In fact, one member of Congress even compared it to the 9/11 attacks.
Novi’s notice to customers
Novi issued a notice to all its customers, stating that users will not be able to add money to an account after the 21st of July. In addition, the notice also urged all Novi users to withdraw their balance at the earliest before access to their wallets is terminated on 1st September. In some cases wherein funds are left in accounts after the 1st of September, Meta will try to transfer outstanding balances to a debit card or a bank account in case they were added to Novi.
Although Meta is exiting the cryptocurrency scene, there is a silver lining in its blockchain experience with Novi and Libra. According to Bloomberg, Meta is likely to utilize Novi’s tech in future projects, including its metaverse project.
A Meta spokesperson said that the company is making full use of the time spent on building capabilities for Meta to introduce new products and blockchain, including digital collectibles. The spokesperson further said that the public can expect to see more from Meta in the Web3 ecosystem as it is very drawn toward the value these technologies can introduce to businesses and people within the metaverse.
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Feature Image Source: Meta