PUNE (CoinChapter.com) — Novi, the cryptocurrency wallet of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), has started allowing some users in the US to send and receive money through its messaging app WhatsApp.
The rollout of crypto payments on a messaging platform is a breakthrough, as millions of users avail WhatsApp’s encrypted messaging service. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption attracts users to the messaging platform; the new feature does not interfere with privacy.
“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,” Novi head Stephane Kasriel tweeted.
How Novi facilitates payments
As per the details available on Novi’s official website, as soon as users add money to their Novi account, it gets converted to USDP (Pax Dollar), a stable digital currency issued by Paxos Trust Company a regulated financial institution based in New York.
USDP has been designed to have a stable value relative to the US dollar. “So on Novi, 1 USDP is equal to 1 US dollar,” the website says. Users can securely keep a balance in their Novi account or transfer it to their bank account.
Facebook’s journey with digital currency
As per reports, Meta has been working on the wallet app for several months. However, due to regulatory concerns, it has scaled back its global plans to roll out Diem’s digital currency. In June 2019, the Libra Association released a whitepaper outlining plans for a multi-part project to develop a blockchain-based payment system.
The focal point was the Libra token, a global stablecoin pegged to a pool of assets, including existing currencies from around the world. The currency was planned to be first launched on a permissioned blockchain. Then later, a permissionless version would be launched. There would also be a Calibra wallet so people could send each other Libra. The project was later rebranded as “Diem.”
Stephane Kasriel announced the move on Twitter, revealing that a small number of individuals will be able to transact with the USDP (formerly Paxos Standard) stablecoin. This follows a U.S.-Guatemala remittance pilot with USDP and the Novi wallet launched in October.
Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, quoted, “People use WA to coordinate sending money to loved ones, and now Novi will help them do that securely, instantly and with no fees.”
However, the Open Markets Institute, a team of researchers, lawyers, economists, journalists, and advocates from Washington DC, has expressed concerns about Meta’s project related to the extent of the impact of the currency.