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It’s ‘No’ to Novi. Meta has shut down its digital wallet

Apparently, the company “cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrency”

Meta has announced that its digital wallet app Novi is shutting down on September 1st, 2022 and – in a move guaranteed to max-out Meta consumer confidence – urges users to withdraw their money “as soon as possible.”

Come September, users will lose access to their accounts and from July 21st, they will no longer be able to add money to the digital wallet. 

Meta expects that not all Novi users may be able to withdraw their funds on September 1st and said it will “attempt to transfer” their balance to the bank account or debit card that the user added to the digital wallet. 

You remember Novi? Right?…

Originally built to support fast and free transactions using the Meta-backed cryptocurrency, Diem, Meta launched the “small pilot” of Novi to US and Guatemala users last October but regulatory challenges forced the metaverse company to partner with Coinbase and use the Paxos stablecoin (USDP) instead.

And although Meta made it clear that it will be adding support for Diem at a later date, things began to fall apart at the end of 2021 and have now reached the point of shutting down the service and walking away.

Before Instagram’s parent company was rebranded to Meta, Diem also went by another name: Libra. The cryptocurrency project faced scrutiny due to its ties to Facebook, so much that the independent ground behind Libra changed the name of the project to Diem and attempt to distance itself from the widely used social network. 

It didn’t take long for members of the US Senate to call on Meta to shut down its Novi project shortly after it launched, saying that the company “cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrency.” A month later, the head of Meta’s cryptocurrency projects David Marcus, left the company.

Quit while you’re… Ahead?

Diem then sold its assets for around $200 million in the early stages of 2022, bringing the once-promising project to an end. However, Meta is still standing firm on the idea of developing its very own digital assets and wallet. Lauren Dickson, Meta spokesperson said in an email statement to The Verge that his company will use the technology it developed in conjunction with the project “on new products, such as digital collectables,” as it looks toward – you guessed it – “building the metaverse.”

Meta recently tested NFTs on Instagram as well as rolled out support for NFTs on Facebook for a few select US-based creators. Reportedly, the behemoth company is also working on a digital currency internally referred to as “Zuck Bucks,” and not based on the blockchain.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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