Meta to shut down digital wallet Novi amid crypto crash

The digital wallet didn’t even last a year but Meta says it will introduce new products such as digital collectibles.

Facebook parent Meta has announced it will shut down its digital wallet for cryptocurrency, Novi, on September 1, 2022, barely a year after it started the project.

The product didn’t even make it to a full launch, closing its doors at pilot stage. Meta said the Novi app and its integration with WhatsApp will no longer be available and users will not be able to sign in to their accounts after the expiry date.

The move coincides with the mayhem in the cryptocurrency space, with prices crashing to new lows.

It also said that from July 21, users will not be able to add currency to the wallet and “strongly advised” users to withdraw their money.

Customers in the US and Guatemala can withdraw the money and get it in their bank accounts. Users from Guatemala can also opt for getting their money in cash from the nearest withdrawal location.

The notice, first spotted by Bloomberg, says that if customers have money in their accounts after the closure of the service, the company will “attempt to transfer your balance to the bank account or debit card you’ve added to Novi”.

Users can also request a copy of all their profile information till the date of closure.

This may mark the end of Meta’s digital wallet plans but the company has not given up. In a statement to Bloomberg, Meta said it was “already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products such as digital collectibles”.

The technology and social media giant said users 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”.

Web3 is believed to be the next phase of the internet, a decentralised web based on blockchain technology.