Meta’s first foray into the crypto world will end in September with the closure of its Novi wallet pilot project.
Novi’s website has been revamped to inform pilot users that the platform will be retired on September 1. This ends an eight-month pilot project in which users from the United States and Guatemala participated in a test of the cryptocurrency payment platform.
Users can withdraw any remaining funds from their respective Novi wallets to their linked bank accounts. Guatemalan users can also withdraw their funds in cash at a select location in Guatemala City.
Novi users are also encouraged to download their account information prior to the closing date, including account transactions and activity. As of September 1, users will not be able to access their wallets. Deposits to Novi wallets will also be suspended from July 21.
Cointelegraph has contacted Novi to find out if there are plans to release a working product in the future with support for multiple cryptocurrencies.
The shutdown of the Novi pilot comes about five months after Meta stablecoin project Diem was sold to Silvergate Capital Corporation. Diem was going to be the stablecoin that powered the Meta ecosystem and, in principle, it was going to be the native currency of the Novi wallet.
Regulatory pressure in the United States led Meta to sell Diem’s intellectual property to Silvergate, which was to integrate the underlying blockchain infrastructure and assets into its existing payments platform.
The failure to launch Diem caused Novi to use the Paxos Dollar (USDP) stablecoin as its native dollar-backed token for payments.. US crypto exchange Coinbase has partnered with Novi as its custody partner to manage and store user funds. Meta planned to migrate Novi’s platform to Diem’s blockchain ecosystem once it received regulatory approval.
The impending end of the Novi pilot comes after Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the switch from Facebook Pay to Meta Pay on his public Facebook profile on June 22. The functionality will remain largely unchanged, save for the introduction of a digital wallet for the metaverse “that allows you to securely manage your identity, what you own, and how you pay.”
Meta’s efforts to integrate cryptocurrencies and stablecoins into its ecosystem have been a long road. Facebook’s parent company changed its name to Meta, while the Diem ecosystem also suffered its own Libra rebranding debacle following massive pushback from regulators around the world.
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