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Facebook closes Novi

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Meta to shut down Novi, its digital cryptocurrency wallet, on Sept. 1

The world of cryptocurrencies is feeling increasingly volatile and unstable, and now it gets another piece of bad news. Meta (formerly Facebook) announces that it will close the Novi platform, used as a digital wallet to send and receive money internationally. Moreover, the closure will happen soon, next September 1, recommending users to withdraw their funds as soon as possible.

In October 2021, Meta started with its digital wallet project Novi, which allowed international transfers. However, not even a year has passed and its closure is now definitive. Although it will disappear as soon as September 2022 begins, the time they have given customers to withdraw money from Novi is much shorter: users will not be able to add money to Novi from July 21, just 3 weeks for customers to withdraw their funds. However, to avoid special situations, Meta assures that it will “try to transfer” the funds to its customers’ accounts added in Novi.

We can now say goodbye to this project that got off to a bad start from the very beginning. Novi was created in order to promote fast and free transactions using the cryptocurrency Diem, backed by Meta itself, which finally could not be launched. In fact, the company had to partner with Coinbase to use the Paxos stablecoin (USDP) instead. Thus, the digital wallet debuted without the promised in-house cryptocurrency, Diem, formerly known as Libra.

At this point, things started to go awry and members of the U.S. Senate called on Meta to shut down its Novi project claiming that the company “cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrencies.” Just a month later, David Marcus, Meta’s head of cryptocurrency projects, left the company. Following this, in early 2022, the Diem partnership announced that it was selling its assets for about €200 million, thus ending the project.

The failure of this project has not discouraged Meta, which continues to look for new ways to generate assets. For example, Meta recently began testing NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on Instagram in order to generate a market of digital collectors. In addition, there is speculation that the company is working on a new digital currency (which some mischievously call “Zuck Bucks”) with the particularity that it is not based on blockchain.

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