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Meta (formerly Facebook) is pulling the plug on its crypto payments wallet, Novi, claiming to repurpose the technology into other projects.
Meta Pulls Novi Plug
On Friday, the tech giant announced that it would be scaling back the development of its crypto wallet, Novi. The project was launched in October 2021 as Calibra. It has been rebranded since then and, despite several attempts to resuscitate it, will be put to bed on September 1, 2022. According to Meta, the technology behind its digital wallet will now be repurposed to support other projects, including its metaverse development efforts. A statement has been updated on the Novi website, reading,
"Novi will no longer be available for use after September 1. Before Novi goes away, we’ve made it easy for you to get your remaining balance and download your Novi information.”
Why Is Novi Shutting Down?
The Novi team or Meta has not been forthcoming with any further information explaining the demise of the project. Speculators are pointing fingers at the wider crypto market free fall that has resulted in dramatic sell offs and turning investors wary about the industry. Additionally stablecoin scrutiny has also been amped up recently, following the Terra LUNA crash. However, Facebook’s trouble’s with regulators and lawmakers are not new.
It has been three years since Facebook launched its ventures into the crypto space. The first of its ill-fated initiatives under this arm was the Libra project - the company’s own cryptocurrency. The project was rebranded into Diem in February 2020. However both Novi and Diem have faced their share of regulatory roadblocks from United States lawmakers. In October 2021, group of Democratic lawmakers released a statement ordering CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop the company’s work on the Novi pilot and the Diem project. As a result, the Diem project started winding down operation in January, by announcing an asset sale of the Diem stablecoin. Now, with the end of Novi, the other shoe has dropped for the Libra/Diem association that was steering Meta’s crypto efforts.
Repurposing Novi Tech For Metaverse
As is evident from the rebranding of Facebook to Meta, the company is quite eager to establish and expand its share in the metaverse. Certain Meta executives have even claimed that the metaverse will play a significant role in the company’s efforts towards digital commerce expansion. Especially, if we take into account the fact that Meta has been testing support for NFTs. Therefore repurposing the digital wallet infrastructure to support its NFT trading efforts could be an alternative application of the tech.
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