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Meta pulls the plug on stablecoin wallet Novi

By Holly Shields
July 4, 2022 0

Amid a troubling crypto winter, Meta has opted to pull the plug on its digital currency wallet Novi.

Three years after the tech giant’s stablecoin gamble, the pilot platform will no longer be available from September 1.

Before it closes up shop, Novi is guiding users on how to remove their remaining funds, which they can either transfer to their bank account or withdraw as cash.

Originally known as Calibra, the wallet housed the libra stablecoin (later known as diem), which faced intense regulatory scrutiny upon its unveiling. Meta’s ability to tackle money laundering, safeguard users, and ensure platform security was called into question by financial authorities and the general public. 

Overall, the project faced intense backlash from government regulators, particularly in the European Union and the US.

In 2020, Novi shifted into a money-transfer pilot for digital asset-based remittances. Thanks to a rocky start, the platform’s potential market expansion plans were hampered, and it remained in U.S. and Guatemala only.

Guatemalan users are able to withdraw cash from locations in the capital city, for which they will need a government-issued ID to link to their Novi account.

The crypto wallet is urging users to transfer their coins “as soon as possible”, because from July 21, they will no longer be able to deposit money into their accounts. Novi’s app and WhatsApp presence will also become unavailable, and eventually, users will not be able to access their transaction history and other information.

Despite the closing of the Novi/Calibra chapter, Meta is by no means finished in the digital asset space, as the company still working towards other Web3 goals, including its metaverse initiative.


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