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Meta’s Controversial Novi Services To Shut Down In September

Meta has announced to end its controversial cryptocurrency project - the Novi pilot on September 1.
The departure of David Marcus, the then-Meta executive who headed the Novi wallet effort, was an added blow to the plans and was seen as the beginning of the downfall of the project.

 

The American multinational technology conglomerate – Meta has announced to end the last remaining piece of its controversial cryptocurrency project – the Novi pilot on September 1.

 

Novi is Meta’s money-transfer service that uses the company’s own cryptocurrency digital wallet.

 

The company, on its official website, has advised all users to withdraw their balance “as soon as possible” and added that users will no longer be able to add money to their wallets after July 21. Further, users will not be able to access their transaction history and other data post the pilot ends in September. The move to shut the ambitious blockchain project comes amid the ongoing crypto crash. The digital wallet did not even last for a year and is closing doors at its pilot stage.

 

The Novi pilot project was launched by Meta, then known as Facebook, in October 2021 for users in the United States and Guatemala. According to The Verge, Novi was originally built to support fast and free transactions using the Meta-backed cryptocurrency, Diem. Initially, Novi, Meta’s digital cryptocurrency wallet, was named Calibra, while Diem cryptocurrency was known as Libra. Since its inception, the blockchain project faced worldwide scrutiny for its ties with Facebook amid data privacy concerns, which led to the rebranding of the project.

 

Additionally, the crypto project’s ambitious aims seemed to threaten the traditional government-run financial systems, the Verge had reported.

 

In a joint statement in 2019, regulators from Albania, Australia, Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom expressed concerns about the privacy risks posed by Diem’s digital currency and infrastructure due to the involvement of Facebook. In the same year, the U.S. Congress expressed distrust in Facebook’s chief executive officer and co-founder – Mark Zuckerberg’s foray into the cryptocurrency space.

 

Following the backlash, various launch partners, including Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe and Mercado Pago, dropped out of the cryptocurrency project.

 

The departure of David Marcus, the then-Meta executive who headed the Novi wallet effort, was an added blow to the plans and was seen as the beginning of the downfall of the project.

 

However, Novi’s technology is expected to be used in its parent’s future products, such as in its metaverse project, Bloomberg reported, citing an email from the company spokesperson. More from Meta in the Web 3 space can be expected as the company is positive about the value these technologies can bring to people and businesses in the metaverse, the report added.

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