Meta Quietly Exits Metaverse with Novi Shutdown


May 9, 2023

Listen to this article

Meta Quietly Exits Metaverse with Novi Shutdown

After years of attempting to integrate their platform into the cryptocurrency and Web3 space, Facebook parent company Meta is bowing out of the metaverse.  The company announced the shutdown of their digital wallet project, Novi, effective September 1, 2022.

Novi Users Advised to Withdraw Funds or Potentially Lose Them

Novi was launched in May 2020 by Diem, an imprint of Meta dedicated to blockchain technology. The wallet was initially designed to work with the company’s digital currency of the same name (formerly known as Libra), along with Pax Dollar (USDP) and other crypto tokens. The company touted their solution as an easy way to send money to other users in the Meta sphere, including through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

However, both Novi and the Diem cryptocurrency were poorly received by the general public. In addition to requiring new users to provide a valid phone number and government-issued identification to setup an account, regulators in the United States and the European Union heavily scrutinized the new currency. Both Congress and the Federal Reserve expressed concerns over consumer protections and money laundering with Diem, while the European Union expressed fears that Meta could become a “shadow bank” through their token. Despite plans for Diem to be managed by a trusted third party organization, Meta abandoned the project in early 2022, moving all new deposits to Pax Dollar.

The remaining Novi customers in the United States and Guatemala are now advised to withdraw any remaining funds held in wallets by August 31, 2022. While U.S. users can deposit their funds to a linked bank account, the remaining customers in Guatemala can visit a withdrawal center in Guatemala City. According to the Novi website, the company will attempt to deposit any funds in wallets held after the shutdown date to the original bank account or debit card used to deposit funds. If unsuccessful, the funds could be lost forever.

Current Novi users can also request a copy of their information being held by the company until September 1. Information is available for download on the Novi apps for Android and Apple iOS devices, or using Novi on WhatsApp.

While Novi and Diem ends Meta’s attempt to join the cryptocurrency space, projects associated with the failed experiment will remain. Paxos will continue to operate Pax Dollar on 27 exchanges and with numerous partnerships.