Meta's controversial cryptocurrency project is coming to an end with the announcement that the Novi digital wallet will close on 1st September 2022. The Novi digital wallet launched with a pilot program in November 2021 with custody support from Coinbase. Novi did not support Meta's proposed Diem cryptocurrency, but instead launched with only support for USDP, a stablecoin offered by Paxos. Support for Diem was expanded to a pilot program with WhatsApp in December that allowed some users to send and receive cryptocurrency using Novi within a WhatsApp chat.
The social media platform has advised all users to withdraw funds at their earliest convenience while adding that no deposits into the wallet will be allowed after 21st July, and users' transaction history and other data will be inaccessible from 1st September.
The launch of WhatsApp support for Novi was seen as a step forward in Meta's attempts to enter the cryptocurrency space, but just over six months later, those efforts now appear to have been in vain.
The Novi app will be taken down from app stores. However, technology from Novi developed over many years will have a place in the metaverse plans of Meta, the company told Bloomberg, having already tested non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in its Web 3 efforts.
"We are already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles," a spokesperson for Meta said. "You can expect to see more from us in the Web 3 space because we are very optimistic about the value these technologies can bring to people and businesses in the metaverse."
Novi was initially known as Calibra, while the stalled Diem cryptocurrency was once known as Libra. It was controversial when first announced in June 2019, with members of Congress and then US President Donald Trump criticising the product. One congressman even went as far as comparing Libra to the 9/11 attacks.