Meta’s Novi cryptocurrency wallet is shutting down

The "small pilot" ends after less than a year.

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Igor Bonifacic
July 2, 2022 3:36 PM
ANKARA, TURKEY -  MAY 27: In this illustration photo, the logo of "Novi" is displayed on a smartphone as "Facebook" logo is seen behind, in Ankara, Turkey on May 27, 2020. (Photo by Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Meta is shutting down Novi, its short-lived cryptocurrency digital wallet. In a notice spotted by Bloomberg, 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 pilot” 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.

But the demise of Novi and Diem doesn’t mean Meta won’t make another digital wallet. “We are already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles,” a company spokesperson told Bloomberg. “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.”

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In fact, the company announced last month that it was rebranding Facebook Pay to Meta Pay. At the time, Mark Zuckerberg called the change a “first step” toward creating a digital wallet for the metaverse. The executive said he envisioned a future where Meta Pay would function as a place to store all the digital items you buy or create in virtual worlds.

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