Mark Zuckerberg's Meta is shutting down its Novi cryptocurrency wallet amid an impending crypto winter. The company announced that starting July 21, Novi users will no longer be able to add money to their accounts, and the service will become unavailable entirely on September 1.
Meta asks Novi users to withdraw funds as soon as possible. If someone forgets to withdraw the remaining balance, the company will "attempt to transfer" the funds to the bank account or debit cards added to the service. Users will also be unable to access their transaction history or other data once the pilot ends.
The company launched a "small pilot" of Novi to users in Guatemala and the US last October. Even though initially Novi was supposed to be a safe way to send and receive crypto and work with Diem (formerly known as Libra), a Meta-backed cryptocurrency, the digital wallet was launched without support for Diem. At the beginning of this year, Diem sold its assets for almost $200 million.
A company spokesperson said in an email that Meta plans to use Novi's technology in future products, such as its metaverse project.
"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. "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.
After abandoning plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, Meta also shifted its focus to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).