WhatsApp is testing cryptocurrency payments in the United States.


WhatsApp has introduced a new trial program that will allow a “limited number” of individuals in the United States to send and receive money using cryptocurrencies from within a chat. Payments are done using Pax Dollars (USDP), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar issued by Paxos that is enabled by Novi, Meta’s digital wallet that started as a trial six weeks ago. The announcement was made by Stephane Kasriel, the incoming CEO of Novi, and Will Cathcart, the CEO of WhatsApp.

In accordance with the information on Novi’s website, sending a payment works on the same way as sending any other attachment in WhatsApp. If you’re using an Android device, you may access the feature by tapping the paper clip icon or the plus icon, and then selecting “Payment” from the menu that appears.

In addition, there are no fees associated with sending or receiving money, no limits on how frequently payments can be received, and no expenses associated with retaining a balance in your Novi account or with withdrawing money from your Novi bank account, according to the company’s website. Payouts are made in real time and are completely secure.

The Novi test was initially available in the United States and Guatemala, but according to WABetaInfo, users in Guatemala will not be able to take advantage of the new WhatsApp payments capabilities. Rather, they’ll be required to continue utilizing the standalone Novi application.

Paying using WhatsApp does not alter the end-to-end encryption that is in place by default for all personal communications, which is not affected by payments. The WhatsApp Novi pilot is available in both English and Spanish, with the latter being the default language.

According to the new pilot, the much-hyped cryptocurrency intentions of Facebook (now Meta) that were officially disclosed in 2019 are the inspiration for it.

As part of the Libra Association, Facebook had announced plans to develop and launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, which would be tethered to a basket of low-volatility assets rather than a single currency at the time. Calibra, a digital wallet developed by Facebook, will be included into the system as well. The entire system was created to provide a more cost-effective way to transmit money throughout the world than existing methods do currently.

Since then, there has been a significant alteration in these ideas. It is now known as Diem, and the Libra Association has been renamed after losing several of its most prominent members.

Calibra has been renamed as Novi, and Libra has been renamed Diem. Perhaps most significantly, Novi was unable to debut due to a lack of availability of the Diem coin. Pax Dollars, on the other hand, are the creation of a separate business named Paxos, and Meta is relying on cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to serve as its custody provider.

Then-head of Novi David Marcus stated that the company is still committed to Diem when he announced the launch of the Novi pilot in October, a statement that has since been updated.

In a tweet, Marcus stated, “We expect to launch Novi with Diem as soon as it receives regulatory permission.” David Marcus later announced that he will be departing the company at the conclusion of the calendar year. In a WhatsApp message, he referred to the pilot of the Novi as “the nicest farewell gift from the best crew ever!”

While WhatsApp’s payment plans in the United States concentrate upon Novi and cryptocurrencies, the company is already accepting payments in standard fiat currencies in other parts of the world. Last year, the functionality was widely implemented in India, and it has now been implemented in Brazil as well.

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