Meta, previously known as Facebook, is finally bringing down the curtain on one of the most anticipated projects that Mark Zuckerberg was actively involved with.
Meta’s Novi pilot – a service that is meant to allow people to transfer money using the company’s own cryptocurrency digital wallet – will be shutting down on September 1, 2022, the company officially announced. To make the users aware of the decision, it also sent a text message to its users.
The company has mentioned on its website that the Novi app as well as Novi on WhatsApp will cease to be available. Novi announced that users won’t have the ability to add money to accounts starting July 21st, 2022. Users are advised to withdraw their funds from the wallet “as soon as possible“. Neither the transaction history nor any other data would be available once the pilot goes end of life.
The company, however, not bringing down the project to the scarp. A spokesperson for Novi stated in an email that the company plans to use the underlying technology of Novi in future products, such as its metaverse project.
“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.
The company is quite optimistic and confident about the potential of these capabilities built over the years. The company also plans to actively focus on web3 technologies and believes that it will bring great value to businesses and people in the metaverse.
In October last year, Meta launched Novi pilot amid scaled-backed ambitions to be the leader in crypto remittances. Meta decided to ditch the Diem token – earlier known as Libra – and used the USDP stablecoin from Paxos Trust Co. to enable wallet users, belonging to the US and Guatemala, to transact. Coinbase Global Inc. was responsible for protecting the funds.
In 2019, Zuckerberg testified before Congress to dispel any doubts related to the launch of Diem, a precursor to Libra, without regulatory approval.
Meta’s ambition and commitment to create Diem to provide fast and cheap payments via crypto have faced a major jolt in the past few years due to regulatory scrutiny. David Marcus, who was responsible for Novi’s wallet efforts, left the company in March 2021. In January this year, the company decided to sell Diem’s assets.
Meta is scaling back this effort but has decided to expand its testing to allow nonfungible tokens on its sites.
Meta’s ambitions for Novi have come to end at a time when the global crypto market is facing a downturn. The company is already struggling in the stock market as its share price has tanked by nearly 60% in the last 12 months. Experts believe that the top heads at Meta want to offload all the unnecessary baggage, to channelize as many resources, time, and energy on the Metaverse. Will the bet pay off in the future, it could be no better than anybody’s guess, currently.