• Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

Meta Unplugs Its Crypto Payments Wallet Amid Bitcoin Crash

ByHazel R. Lang

Jul 5, 2022

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg quits crypto: Meta unplugs its crypto payments wallet amid bitcoin crash

  • The Novi digital wallet will close on September 1
  • The company’s own cryptocurrency, Diem, was phased out in January
  • This effectively marks the end of Zuckerberg’s crypto ambitions for Meta

Meta is shutting down its Novi cryptocurrency digital wallet less than a year after its launch, ending the company’s crypto ambitions.

The Novi pilot allowed users to make instant, free personal payments through the app which Meta said would make sending money “as easy as sending a message”.

The tech giant made its first foray into cryptocurrency, the Libra project, three years ago before launching a “small pilot” of Novi last October.

The launch was scaled back from its original ambition, using stablecoin USDP rather than its own coin Diem.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Unplugged Crypto Transfer Service Novi

A month after Novi’s launch, Meta’s Chief Crypto Officer, David Marcus, left the company and Diem, formerly known as Libra, began ceasing operations earlier this year.

In an update for its users, the service, which uses Meta’s own crypto digital wallet, will end on September 1 and, from July 21, users will no longer be able to add money to their accounts.

Novi advises users to withdraw their balance “as soon as possible”.

The shutdown of Novi comes amid a severe crypto downturn, in which major cryptocurrencies crashed.

The market has proven equally vulnerable to broader issues in the global economy, leading some market commentators to declare the coming of a crypto winter.

Bitcoin is down 59% year-to-date, dropping below $20,000, while Ethereum is down 70% at $1,127.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Meta said it plans to use Novi’s technology in future products, such as the Metaverse Project.

“We are already leveraging years of building Meta’s capabilities across the blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles.

“You can expect to see more of us in the web3 space as we are very optimistic about the value these technologies can bring to people and businesses in the metaverse.”

Meta spoke of the Metaverse as a major opportunity, especially for digital commerce, after investing $10 billion in the project.

Zuckerberg, however, declined to generate much revenue from the project for the foreseeable future.

In April, the boss of Meta said it could take seven to ten years for investments to produce net income.

And while Meta may be reducing its crypto efforts, it is doubling down on its support for non-fungible tokens on its sites.

Facebook will soon launch NFTs on its site with a “digital collectibles” tab on creator timelines to show off their work. Eventually, creators will be able to post to Facebook and Instagram.

While Meta may double down on NFTs, trading volumes are down significantly from last year as they catch some of the crypto chill.

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