Meta signals closure of Novi wallet after a 10-month pilot
Meta stated that it intends to utilise the technology again in future endeavours, including the metaverse
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Meta (parent company of Facebook) has announced the shutdown of its Novi wallet pilot project. Novi is the company's digital wallet payments pilot and will be shut down on September 1.
The pilot project shutdown will also mark the end of the libra stablecoin experiment three years after Facebook launched its crypto payments platform. The pilot study lasted ten months in which users from the United States and Guatemala took part in a trial of the crypto-powered payment platform.
The website's main page was updated with this announcement so that users would be well-informed about the situation. Users would be unable to add money to their accounts beginning July 21, according to the announcement made on the website.
The company has asked these users to withdraw their money from the platform and urged them to do it "as soon as possible." They were also instructed to download and save whatever relevant data was needed as Novi's WhatsApp account and the Novi app will also be decommissioned. Users would also lose access to their transaction history and other data once the experiment is concluded.
Novi was previously known as Calibra and was Meta's wallet for its libra stablecoin (later renamed Diem), which was announced in June 2019. Its function changed as regulatory concerns drove the stablecoin project to pivot. In 2020, the Novi project involved establishing a money-transfer trial for crypto-based remittances, but the operations for the wallet never expanded beyond the United States and Guatemala.
The Novi pilot's shutdown comes just five months after Meta's stablecoin project Diem was sold to Silvergate Capital Corporation. Diem was supposed to be the stablecoin that drove the Meta ecosystem and was also meant to be launched as the native money of the Novi wallet.
While discussing future endeavours, Meta stated in an email, "We are already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles."
The company added, "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."
The ending of the Novi pilot follows Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the switch from Facebook Pay to Meta Pay on his public Facebook profile on June 22.
Except for adding a digital wallet for the metaverse "that lets you securely manage your identity, what you own and how you pay, " the functioning will remain mostly unchanged.
It has been difficult for Meta to integrate cryptos and stablecoins into its ecosystem.
Following tremendous opposition from regulators worldwide, Facebook's parent company changed its name to Meta, while the Diem ecosystem also experienced its rebranding crisis from libra.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash