Last week, we discussed the very positive U-turn that Facebook has made on cryptocurrency-related advertisements. Now rebranded as Meta, Facebook’s crypto aspirations have certainly shrunk in recent years. Although it has made progress with its digital wallet called Novi.
Using Pax Dollars (USDP), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar and issued by Paxos, Meta has expanded to include the powerhouse global messaging app WhatsApp. A new pilot scheme has reportedly been released to a limited amount of people in the United States to test out using WhatsApp to send cryptocurrency within chats on the app.
According to Novi’s website, sending a cryptocurrency payment works over WhatsApp is said to be similar to sending a standard attachment in WhatsApp. The feature is accessed through the paper clip icon on Android or the + icon on iOS, and then “Payment” will appear on the menu.
As well as instant transfers, Novi claims that the new WhatsApp crypto payment system will be free from fees and limits. Most importantly, the new payments do not affect WhatsApp’s default end-to-end encryption which is in place for all personal conversations.
Available in English and Spanish, the origins of the new WhatsApp pilot scheme can be traced back to Facebook’s 2019 ambitions to launch the Libya cryptocurrency. The plan was for it to be pegged to a range of low-volatility assets in order to provide users with a way to send finances around the globe free of the fees commonly associated with traditional finance.
However, these plans later became complicated as the project was separated amongst a variety of different companies and platforms. However, whilst US users are granted the privilege of being the testing ground for WhatsApps crypto ambitions, the app is not unfamiliar with offering payment options.
In different countries around the world, WhatsApp is offering payment methods for conventional fiat currencies. In Brazil and India, for example, users are able to send payments to each other within the app at high speeds and with minimal fees.
The news of WhatsApp’s crypto pilot scheme was announced by Stephane Kasriel and WhatsApp’s Will Cathcart. The former is soon to be the head of the Novi platform. Due to WhatsApps enormous users base that spans a wide range of societies around the world, this is a massively positive update for the crypto sphere.
Overall, it could have the potential to convince large swathes of the general public to make the shift from fiat currency to cryptocurrency by allowing everyday people to receive, spend, and send crypto assets with ease.