Amidst the ongoing global cryptocurrency meltdown, social media giant Meta Platforms Inc on Monday said the company will be shutting down the digital collectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across Facebook and Instagram. An NFT has a unique signature through, which anyone can easily access the information regarding the transactions made including its creator, its owner, and its seller, amongst others. Each NFT is generated or created through minting and is stored in a blockchain.

Stephane Kasriel, Fintech Head, Meta said the company is pulling the plug on NFT to focus on areas where "the company can make at scale such as messaging and monetization opps for reels."

"Some product news: across the company, we're looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus. We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses," Kasriel said in a series of tweets. Thanking the partners, she said that the company looks forward to supporting NFT creators who are using Facebook and Instagram to amplify their work.

"We learned a ton that we’ll be able to apply to products we’re continuing to build to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the metaverse. Let me be clear: creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetize remains a priority, and we're going to focus on areas where we can make impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization opps for Reels," she said.

Kasriel said that the company will continue investing in fintech tools. "We'll continue investing in fintech tools that people and businesses will need for the future. We’re streamlining payments w/Meta Pay, making checkout & payouts easier, and investing in messaging payments across Meta," it said.

Meta introduced its own digital collectibles on Instagram in May last year to support creators across the social media platform. The company created digital collectibles first on the Polygon blockchain. According to Meta's blog post, the company later expanded the types of digital collectibles to include video and added support for the Solana blockchain and Phantom wallet, in addition to the blockchain wallets.

The development comes months after the dramatic collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried-led FTX, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange firm in November last year, following financial discrepancies. FTX’s collapse has rattled the crypto world, with other exchanges such as BlockFi Inc, and Japan-based Bitfront, amongst others, filing for bankruptcy soon after. FTX owes about $3.1 billion to 50 of its largest creditors.   

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Silicon Valley Bank, which has been associated with providing funds to venture capital firms and tech startups, including crypto startups in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy. The collapse of SVB has sent shockwaves across the global tech startup landscape, with governments scrambling to avert a situation similar to the financial crisis of 2008-09. 

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