(FreedomBeacon.com)- Less than a year after it launched, Meta is shutting down its cryptocurrency digital wallet, Novi, effectively putting an end to the tech company’s foray into crypto.
The Novi wallet permitted users to make fee-free, instant payments which Meta claimed would make sending money “as easy as sending a message.
Three years ago, the tech giant made its first entry into the cryptocurrency market with the ambitious Libra project before launching the scaled-back Novi last October. Initially Libra was going to use its own Diem coin. But with Novi, the project was scaled back to using stablecoin USDP.
But a month after Novi launched, Meta’s crypto chief David Marcus left the company, and Meta’s in-house cryptocurrency, Diem, began winding down operations at the start of 2022.
The updated Novi service will wrap up on September 1 and starting on July 21 Novi users will no longer be able to add money to their crypto digital wallet. The company is advising its Novi users to withdraw their current balance “as soon as possible,” noting that it would “attempt to transfer” users’ remaining balance back to their bank accounts or debit cards after Novi’s final day.
Meta picked a bad time to go into the crypto market as crypto has suffered a harsh downturn and leading cryptocurrencies have crashed.
Bitcoin is down 59 percent this year, dropping below the $20,000 barrier. Meanwhile, Ethereum is down 70 percent to $1,127.
But Meta hasn’t given up entirely.
In a statement to Bloomberg, the company said it plans to use its Novi technology in future products, most notably in its “metaverse” project.
The company has been placing a great deal of hope on its “metaverse,” investing $10 billion in the project so far. Meta believes “metaverse” is a major opportunity for digital commerce.
However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been lowering expectations about the project’s short-term profitability, recently suggesting that the “metaverse” won’t be generating much revenue in the foreseeable future.