Meta has completed the beta version of its digital wallet Novi, which was the last part of a struggling cryptocurrency project.
“The wallet closes on September 1, 2022. We ask users to withdraw their funds as soon as possible,” Meta said on Novi’s website.
Users lose access to their account by September, and will not be able to add funds to Novi as of July 21.
Users will also not be able to access transaction history or other data after the trial is over.
And in case someone forgets to withdraw their remaining balance, Meta says it may try to transfer their money to the bank account or debit card added to the service.
Meta rolled out the beta version of Novi to users in the US and Guatemala last October amid ambitions to dominate the crypto remittance space.
The company originally created Novi Wallet to support fast and free transactions using the Meta-backed Diem cryptocurrency.
But regulatory challenges have forced the company to partner with Coinbase to use the USDP stablecoin Paxos instead to allow wallet users to conduct transactions. Coinbase was protecting the funds.
Meta explained that it still plans to add support for Diem at a later date. But things started to deteriorate at the end of 2021 and until 2022.
Diem was formerly known as Libra. The cryptocurrency project has faced close scrutiny over its ties to Facebook. Scrutiny prompted the independent group behind Libra to rename the project to Diem in an attempt to distance itself from the social network.
US senators called on Meta to shut down Project Novi shortly after its October 2021 launch.
They noted that the company cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrencies. And when Zuckerberg testified before Congress in 2019, he tried to dismiss any concerns that his company was supporting Diem’s launch without regulatory approval.
Novi was part of Meta’s plan to change payments
The company’s ambitions for Diem have diminished over the past few years amid regulatory scrutiny. David Marcus, who headed up the Novi portfolio effort, also left the company one month later. Deem sold its assets for about $200 million at the beginning of this year, marking the end of the project.
The end of Diem does not mean that Meta is giving up on the idea of developing digital assets and the accompanying wallet. “We’re building on our years of building overall Meta capabilities across blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles,” a company spokeswoman said. You can expect to see more of 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 company has begun testing non-fungible NFT tokens via Instagram, and support has reached Facebook as well. The company is also developing a digital currency called Zuck Bucks, which is not based on blockchain.
Mark Zuckerberg last month hinted at creating a digital wallet. This wallet helps manage and store digital clothing, art, videos, music, virtual experiences, events, and more.
The wallet may be interoperable across different Metaverse experiences. This reflects the goals of the Metaverse Standards community.
Meta and a host of other companies helped form the Metaverse standards community. He advocates for the community to set standards for virtual and augmented reality experiences.
Meta’s dent in Novi’s ambitions occurred amid the slowdown in the cryptocurrency markets and liquidity problems at major companies such as Celsius and 3AC.