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Crypto chaos sees Meta ditch its Novi payment wallet after just 9 months

Libra logo
Libra logo (Image credit: Meta)

What you need to know

  • Meta has announced the end of its Novi digital wallet pilot.
  • Novi was never available outside the United States and Guatemala.
  • People are being told to withdraw their money as soon as possible.

Meta, the artist formerly known as Facebook, has canned its fledgling digital wallet payments pilot just nine months after it launched it in November of 2021.

In a move announced via the Novi website and first reported by Coindesk, the pilot will come to an end this September — but people will begin to lose the ability to add money to their accounts much sooner than that. On July 21, to be exact.

The company is also suggesting that its users should yank their money out of the service "as soon as possible," with more information available via the Novi website.

The news comes amid ongoing uncertainty within the entire crypto world. The Novi idea was first floated three years ago with Calibra and a stablecoin that was supposed to be attached to it called libra. That was later renamed to diem, but none of that really matters — Novi never got off the ground outside the United States and Guatemala and is now going the way of the dodo — and so many other crypto projects.

However, this might not be the end of the story. Meta told Coindesk that it still has plans for the Novi technology and yes, it involves the metaverse.

"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 an emailed 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."

Cool.

The original plans for Novi and Calibra, including a stablecoin, wound up being scrapped following regulatory concerns that it would end up being nothing more than a way for people to launder money. Those concerns saw the rebranding mentioned earlier, along with the whole project being massively scaled back in scope.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.