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Meta’s WhatsApp has launched a crypto payments U.S. pilot

The Verge | | Dec 9, 2021

Whatsapp enables crypto payment pilot - Meta's WhatsApp has launched a crypto payments U.S. pilotWith the Novi wallet and Pax Dollar stablecoin

WhatsApp has launched a new pilot that lets a “limited number” of people in the US send and receive money from within a chat using cryptocurrency. The feature is powered by Novi, Meta’s digital wallet that launched as a pilot six weeks ago, with payments made using Pax Dollars (USDP), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar issued by Paxos. The news was announced by Novi’s incoming head Stephane Kasriel and WhatsApp’s Will Cathcart.

According to Novi’s website, sending a payment works much like sending any other attachment in GB WhatsApp Update. You access the feature via the paper clip icon on Android or the + icon on iOS, and then select “Payment” from the menu that appears. Novi’s site notes there are no fees for sending or receiving money, no limits on how often payments can be sent, and no fees to keep a balance in your Novi account or to withdraw it to your bank account. Payments are transferred instantly.

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The new pilot has its roots in Facebook’s (now Meta’s) much-hyped cryptocurrency plans, which were officially announced in 2019. At the time, Facebook (as part of the Libra Association) planned to develop and launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, which would be pegged to a basket of low-volatility assets rather than any one specific currency. This would integrate with a Facebook-developed digital wallet called Calibra. The whole system was designed to offer a way to send money around the world with lower fees than traditional methods.

These plans have shifted considerably since then. Libra has become Diem, the Libra Association has lost several of its most high profile members and become the Diem Association, and Calibra has become Novi. Perhaps most notably, Novi has ended up launching without the Diem cryptocurrency. Instead, Pax Dollars are the work of a separate company called Paxos, and Meta is relying on cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as its custody partner.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Meta's WhatsApp has launched a crypto payments U.S. pilot The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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