WhatsApp launches cryptocurrency payments pilot in the US2021-12-10 17:36 by Daniela
Tags: WhatsApp, cryptocurrency
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.
The way the payments work in WhatsApp is similar to sending regular attachments in a conversation. Users tap the plus (+) icon and then select Payment from the menu that appears. Users who are paid this way receive USDP, which can be withdrawn to a bank account in its equivalent value in US dollars.
There's no cap on the number of times the Novi system can be used to send and receive money through WhatsApp. Regardless of frequency of use, there are no fees associated with keeping a balance in a Novi account or withdrawing it to a bank account. In addition, the inclusion of Novi in the chat platform has no effect on the end-to-end encryption of personal messages.
The company claims that its users' financial information will be encrypted. This includes the documents, ID, and photo every user needs to upload to access the digital wallet.
Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook, has been working on the wallet app for several months, while scaling back its global plans for rolling out a digital currency called Diem on regulatory concerns.
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