Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) is certainly the most crypto-adjacent of the Big Five tech companies. It has been pushing more so than its peers into technologies like stablecoins, the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the like. Of course, several casualties have resulted from this trail-blazing attitude; a new failure is joining the fold as Meta’s Novi crypto wallet prepares to go offline.
Since its rebranding late last year, the company formerly known as Facebook has been diving headfirst down the Web 3.0 rabbit hole. Much to the excitement of many crypto buffs, and much to the chagrin of the market’s skeptics, the company has been promising big forays into areas saturated by blockchain startups. The most well-known of these is the company’s metaverse experience, Horizon Digital Worlds. However, there have been several project even before Horizon which have seen controversy.
Perhaps best known of these projects is the Diem stablecoin. Meta wanted its own corner of the space as early as 2017. And although the company spent significant resources in pursuit of its own payment currency, several roadblocks — including the departure of many partner companies from the project and a slew of public pushback — it ended up selling off the assets early this year.
What Meta didn’t sell off, though, was Diem’s companion project — a crypto wallet called Novi. Novi was announced shortly after Diem, and was meant originally to be the wallet specifically for holding Novi tokens. There was some hope that Novi would be able to survive even in the wake of Diem’s failure. Though, recent news proves that the effort is a futile one.
Meta Closes the Books on Diem With Novi Discontinuation
Meta launched the pilot program for Novi in October of last year. With a group of testers split between the U.S. and Guatemala, it was the last bastion of the Diem project. After nearly ten months, though, the company is packing it in.
Over the weekend, Meta announced that it will be concluding the pilot program by Sept. 1. After this date, the Novi crypto wallet will be effectively discontinued. In preparation for the closure, all testers are being asked to remove their assets from their wallets as soon as possible. New deposits will be disabled after July 21.
It seems as though the news signals a general disinterest in a big tech-controlled cryptocurrency and custodial service. However, Meta isn’t giving up on the space entirely. Novi’s demise comes only months after Meta announced yet another digital money project. Back in April, Meta made known its plans to roll out a digital currency — though not a blockchain-backed cryptocurrency — called “Zuck Bucks.” Though, this project seems far more tied to tokenizing aspects of the social media platforms it controls, Instagram and Facebook, rather than a payment method.
All-in-all, the news doesn’t come as a surprise. The timing of the announcement lines up with a growing distrust in “hot wallets” like Novi. These storage options are increasingly becoming targets for hackers, as InvestorPlace’s Ashley Cassell points out. Interest in these types of wallets is floundering as a result, irregardless of public skepticism in Meta.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.