Meta to shutter its Novi digital wallet, drawing a line under Libra

(Image credit: Facebook)

Meta is set to shut down its Novi digital wallet on September 01, the company has announced, effectively drawing a line under the Libra project.

Novi, which underwent a small pilot in the US and Guatemala towards the end of last year, used Paxos Trust Co’s USDP stablecoin to enable users to make transfers to each other via a mobile payment app.

The project has received a huge degree of regulatory attention since its inception. In November 2020, for example, leaders of the G7 group of nations objected to the launch of Facebook’s Libra Stablecoin, Novi's predecessor, until they could decide if it was properly regulated.

Novi shutdown

Meta has told Novi users to withdraw their balances as soon as possible, as they will be unable to do so after September 01. And users will be unable to transfer money into their accounts after July 21.

Novi users in the US and Guatemala can head here to find out information on how to withdraw their balance via any of the major platforms. And privacy-conscious users can also request a copy of their data stored on Novi, which will no longer be possible after the pilot ends.

The project was initially intended to function via Meta’s own purpose-built stablecoin Diem, however the switch to Paxos was made after opposition from the US congress.

The recent announcement shouldn't come as any particular surprise, Meta has been offloading assets related to its digital assets projects for some time. The company sold off assets related to the Diem project in January 2022 to Silvergate Capital (SI) for $200 million.

“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 emailed to Bloomberg.

“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.”

Indeed, the company recently announced a foray into the world of NFTs, adding new NFT related features to Instagram as part of its metaverse push.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.