Meta to Shut Down Digital Wallet Novi Less Than a Year After its Launch

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The Novi digital wallet will be shut down on September 1, announced the company behind the project – Meta (formerly Facebook). This comes after years of regulatory scrutiny and unsuccessful launch attempts.

  • The initial idea, started in June 2019, saw several company executives setting up a digital wallet (called Libra at the time) that wanted to operate a single global digital currency (similar to a stablecoin).
  • Given the firm’s previous hurdles with watchdogs, the plan faced enhanced scrutiny from different regulators almost immediately.
  • This led to multiple changes over the years, including the rebranding of Libra to Novi (last October), inspired by the Latin words novus (new) and via (way). The company wanted to clear up some of the confusion with the previous version.
  • Novi came as a beta version, in which Coinbase served as custodian, and users were able to send money “as easily as they send messages.”
  • Now, though, less than e year since the debut, Meta has decided to shut it down, as announced on Novi’s website, which reads that the wallet will “no longer be available for use after September 1.”
  • It also warns existing users to withdraw all of their funds stored on the platform before that date as they wouldn’t be accessible after it.
  • Upon the launch of the beta version, Novi came with a promise of a stablecoin called Diem. However, that idea also came to an abrupt end, at least from Meta’s oversight.
  • Several ex-developers decided to relaunch the project with a different name (Aptos) and even raised $200 million to build a blockchain network.

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