WhatsApp: Meta introduces cryptocurrency for payments
WhatsApp, one of the most popular and widely used instant messaging platforms and part of the Meta Group (formerly Facebook) since 2014, has recently launched a new pilot project in the United States.
The application will allow, for the moment a limited number of American users, to send and receive money through the digital wallet Novi (formerly Calibra). Stephane Kasriel (Head of Novi) and Will Cathcart (Head of WhatsApp) said in a Tweet. Using WhatsApp to send and receive money would be “as easy as sending a message”, said Kasriel.
The Novi digital wallet was recently promoted by Meta to allow users to carry out different transactions internationally. With the new project, customers will be able to send or receive money within the WhatsApp chat without any kind of commission. There are no limits on how often payments can be sent, no fees for sending or receiving money and no fees to keep a balance in your Novi account or to withdraw it to your bank account.
The new feature will also be easy to use: all payments are sent as an attachment within a chat.
All transactions made will use the Pax Dollar (USDP) cryptocurrency, which is pegged to the dollar and part of the stable coin. Conversion is therefore guaranteed 1:1 and will be immediate.
Meta’s project with cryptocurrencies dates back two years when Facebook first launched its own digital currency called Libra. However, the Libra initiative was later renamed Diem, a digital currency initially proposed for the launch of Novi. Some regulatory issues then forced Meta to switch to Pax.
When users add money to their account, Novi automatically converts dollars into Pax. The Pax Dollar is a stable cryptocurrency created in 2018 whose value is pegged to the US dollar and is issued by Paxos Trust
Company, a regulated financial institution.
After receiving users’ feedback, it is possible that the pilot project will be extended to a wider audience in the future.