In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks – Meta (Facebook) users will soon be able to deploy NFTs on profiles, Meta to shutter Novi Crypto payments wallet in September, NFT sales hit 12-month low after cryptocurrency crash.
Let’s get started.
Meta (Facebook) users will soon be able to deploy NFTs on profiles
There have been several changes to Meta’s main social network since it was once known as Facebook. The tech giant Meta (Facebook) is beginning with Ethereum and Polygon NFTs but would shortly add support for NFTs on Solana and Flow.
Meta Product Manager Navdeep Singh posted pictures on Twitter on Wednesday showing an early peek of what NFTs would look like when they launch on Facebook. According to the post, a “digital collectibles” button on Facebook profiles will allow users to show off their NFTs, which are unique blockchain tokens representing ownership.
Facebook has begun a gradual rollout that allows a restricted set of individuals in the United States to upload digital collectibles. Connecting crypto wallets with Facebook accounts will be possible in the future. Their NFTs will also become Facebook postings that can be liked, commented on, and shared in the same manner as any other post. In May, the social media giant started rolling out NFTs on Instagram for select users in limited countries.
Instagram previously said that NFTs uploaded or shared on the app would automatically identify the NFT’s author and collector and that the business will not charge for the publishing or sharing of NFTs. Furthermore, NFTs may be shared as augmented reality stickers by collectors.
Meta to shutter Novi Crypto payments wallet in September, ending libra saga
Meta (Facebook) will shut down Novi, the social media company’s digital wallet payments pilot, on Sept. 1, all but ending the Libra stablecoin experiment three years after the company then known as Facebook unveiled its ambitious but ultimately doomed crypto payments gamble.
Meta announced the news on the service’s website, texting users a link to the announcement that urged users to withdraw their money from the platform “as soon as possible.” Beginning July 21, users will lose the ability to add money to their accounts. Novi’s WhatsApp account and the Novi app will also become unavailable. Once the pilot ends, users will not have access to their transaction history and other data.
Novi, originally known as Calibra, had been Meta’s wallet for its libra stablecoin (later renamed diem) revealed in June 2019. Its role shifted as regulatory pressures forced the stablecoin project to change course. Novi became a money-transfer pilot for crypto-based remittances in 2020 – but it never got beyond the U.S. and Guatemala.
Although Meta decided to kill the Novi pilot, the company said it has plans to repurpose the technology for future products, including its metaverse initiative.
“We are already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles,” Meta said in an emailed statement. “You can expect to see more from us in the Web3 space because we are very optimistic about the value these technologies can bring to people and businesses in the metaverse.”
NFT sales hit 12-month low after cryptocurrency crash
Non-fungible tokens have been swept up in the cryptocurrency crash as sales reached a 12-month low in June.
NFTs confer ownership of a unique digital item – often a piece of virtual art – upon someone, even if that item can be easily copied. Ownership is recorded on a digital, decentralized ledger known as a blockchain.
Sales of NFTs totalled just over $1bn (£830m) in June, according to the crypto research firm Chainalysis, their worst performance since the same month last year when sales were $648m. Sales reached a peak of $12.6bn in January.
“This decline is definitely linked to the broader slowdown in crypto markets,” said Ethan McMahon, a Chainalysis economist.
“Times like this inevitably lead to consolidation within the affected markets, and for NFTs we will likely see a pullback in terms of the collections and types of NFTs that reach prominence.”
The cryptocurrency market, worth about $3tn last November, is now worth less than $1tn.
NFTs rely on a blockchain – the decentralized ledger first used by bitcoin to track ownership of the cryptocurrency – to record who owns them and allow them to be traded. Most are based on the Ethereum blockchain, which is maintained through a carbon-intensive system called proof of work.