Meta disables its Novi crypto payment wallet

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Three years after Facebook announced his ill-fated push into cryptocurrencyalso known as the Libra project, the tech giant signaled another reduction in its activity by announcing on Friday that Novi, a digital wallet payments pilot project that it launched. last Octoberends September 1st.

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In a statement provided CoinDeskthe tech giant now known as Meta has suggested that it has plans to repurpose digital wallet technology (née Caliber) for future products, including those related to his eponymous focus on the development of a “metaverse”. Though it’s not entirely clear what the Meta might have in mind by repurposing Novi’s technology.

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Senior Meta executives have talked about the metaverse as an important opportunity for digital commerce. However, they also warned of the long time scales it would take for the sought-after market to develop, suggesting it could take decades.

In recent months, the company has also support testing digital collectibles (aka NFT) – so having your own digital wallet infrastructure could help promote non-fungible token trading more widely if Meta decides enough money can be made (but again, NFT trading volumes plummeted compared to last year as digital collectibles capture crypto cold).

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Pilot NoviMeanwhile, was much simpler: it allowedesters free instant personal payments via the Novi app using a stablecoin as a medium of transfer – and Meta’s marketing claims its technology makes sending money “as easy as sending a message”. The pilot project was limited to users in the US and Guatemala.

Limited WhatsApp integration was rolled out last December to a subset of US users of the Facebook-owned messaging platform.

However, the wallet project has generally been hampered by Meta’s cryptocurrency ambitions, which have never materialized as hoped – in the face of regulatory resistance and dwindling support. Facebook’s reputational issues following years of governance scandals have clearly hampered its ability to “go fast and break things” this time around.

Therefore, when starting Novi has already been reduced from the original ambition – with another stablecoin, USDP, and not a coin associated, for example, with the Libra (Diem) project itself.

More recently, a digital wallet wall post included the departure of Meta’s chief crypto manager: David Marcus, who led Novi and announced his departure to november.

Then in January, Libra/Diem Association, also known as the Meta consortium, originally created to support and manage the crypto project, has announced a winddown – a sell-off of Diem stablecoin assets. Game over.

Note about Novi website informing users of the impending end of a payments pilot provides neither color nor context for Meta’s decision to pull the plug – the tech giant simply writes:

Novi will no longer be available for use after September 1st. Before Novi disappears, we’ve made it easy for you to get your remaining balance and download information about Novi.”

For example, there is no mention of a broader free fall of the crypto market this has led to sharp sell-offs in recent months and increased attention to stablecoins. concerns about stability. No increased attention internationally to the regulation of cryptocurrencies. But changing market conditions are likely to cool the Meta. interest.

Meta has been contacted for comment.

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