The adoption of cryptocurrency in the workplace is on the rise, due to its speed and low costs. WhatsApp has just launched a test for this system in the U.S.
WhatsApp has unveiled a new pilot that will let some people in the US send and receive money through chats by adding cryptocurrency. The wallet will integrate with Meta’s current app, which has gained popularity since it launched six weeks ago. Payments are to be made using Pax Dollars, a US-backed stable coin issued by Paxos. The move was announced by Novi’s incoming head Stephane K.
Sending a payment is very similar to sending an attachment on WhatsApp, according to Novi. The payment feature can be found by clicking the paperclip icon on Android or the “+” icon on iOS and then choosing Payment from the menu that appears. Novi’s site notes that there are no penalties and fees for sending and receiving money, or limits on how often payments might be sent. There are also no fees to maintain a balance in your account or withdraw it into your bank account. Payments can be instantly transferred.
There's a new way to try the @Novi digital wallet. Starting today, a limited number of people in the US will be able to send and receive money using Novi on @WhatsApp, making sending money to family and friends as easy as sending a message. 💸💬 pic.twitter.com/dGz3lejri7— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) December 8, 2021
We are sad to announce that despite our efforts, WABetaInfo confirms that Guatemala is not eligible for WhatsApp Pay. Instead, they’ll have to continue using the stand-alone Novi app. Payments do not affect WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, which is in place by default for all personal conversations. The WhatsApp Novi pilot is available in both English and Spanish.
The new pilot project has evolved from Facebook’s (now Meta’s) cryptocurrency project. At the time, Facebook was developing a cryptocurrency called Libra. This is currently pegged to a basket of low-volatility assets rather than anyone specific currency. This would integrate with the Facebook-developed digital wallet, Calibra. Facebook designed these features to offer a way to send money around the world with lower fees than ever before.
Since then, they’ve done a lot of work and changed the name from Libra to Diem. The association lost many high-profile members and became the Diem Association. Calibra became Novi, with a big change being that it won’t hold people’s cash after all – instead, Novi is going to have a partnership with Visa. Paxos is the company behind Pax Dollars according to reports. This is not to be confused with Meta, which relies on the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase for custody of its tokens.
Meta has announced an update on their Diem project back in October. They state that the company is committed to the project and will be launching it once it receives regulatory approval. Last week, David Marcus said he will leave Facebook’s Board of Directors at the end of this year. Marcus says that the rollout of Novi in WhatsApp has been “the best farewell gift from the best team ever!”
So far WhatsApp hasn’t released a US version, but worldwide it does have a form of payment. In India, it’s been expanding its reach in recent months where you can pay with both Novi and traditional currencies.