WhatsApp Integrates Stablecoin Payment Pilot For US Users

It looks like Meta is bringing the world of crypto to social media apps beyond just Facebook. The company recently announced that Novi – its native digital currency wallet – has been integrated into WhatsApp’s messaging service. This comes shortly after David Marcus, head of Novi, announced plans to leave the project at the end of the month.

Crypto Payments Through WhatsApp

Stephane Kasriel – incoming head of Novi – revealed the wallet’s WhatsApp compatibility in a tweet on Wednesday. The wallet now lets some WhatsApp users send each other cryptocurrency directly from the system’s chat whenever they want. While completely feeless, the feature is currently only available to US users.

Not every cryptocurrency has the support either. For example, the app only facilitates Pax Dollar (USDP) payments, a US dollar stablecoin issued by Paxos. In addition, though some of the crypto community anticipates possible Bitcoin integration similar to Twitter, Novi shows no such plans.

According to Novi’s site instructions, sending Pax works like sending any other attachment in messages. Users tap the paper-clip/ + icon and select “payment” from the following menu for immediate transfer. The wallet prioritizes security and privacy, featuring 24/7 account monitoring and encryption of sensitive financial information.

“Since we introduced the Novi pilot just six weeks ago, we’ve been able to test and learn which features and functionality are most important to people, and focus our efforts on making those even better,” said Stephane Kasriel, incoming head of Novi.

Kasriel added that WhatsApp is frequently used for arranging payments between loved ones. Therefore, adding Novi’s functionality was a logical next step for convenience.

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Stephane Kasriel. Source: Businesswire

Novi’s Progress

Meta launched its pilot of Novi this October in partnership with Coinbase. Since then, Kasriel said the team has been able to test which wallet features are most important to people.

It hasn’t been without challenges, however. Elizabeth Warren and other senators opposed Novi’s launch, deeming Facebook untrustworthy as a global payments network.

California congresswoman Maxine Waters shares her fears. Winters partook in a crypto-focused hearing with industry leaders just yesterday. In conversation with Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla, she said the company’s stablecoin could undermine the US dollar if it reaches the Facebook audience through Novi.

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Novi has also suffered multiple executive resignations throughout its development. David Marcus – current head of Novi – said he would step down from the project at the end of the year.

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