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WhatsApp is experimenting currency payments using Meta's Novi wallet

3 min reading

Earlier, several US activists asked the DOJ to restrict Meta from providing its digital currency wallet Novi on its sites

Although opposition from several US senators on Meta's launch of digital currency products, the evolution of the social media giant's digital wallet, Novi, remains rapid.

On Wednesday, Stephane Kasriel, the head of Meta's cryptocurrency and fintech department Novi, officially stated that Meta's messenger subsidiary, WhatsApp, has begun examining transactions via Meta's Novi wallet.

According to the Exec, the new facility is accessible in the United States for a "limited number of people," enabling users to transfer money through WhatsApp "instantly and with no fees."

Since releasing the Novi pilot in mid-October, Meta has been managed to test and learn which features and functionalities are "most important to people," according to Kasriel. He went on to say that utilising Novi had no impact on the privacy of WhatsApp personal messages and calls, "which are always end-to-end encrypted."

On Twitter, Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp at Meta, acknowledged the news, stating that some U.S. users can now transfer and receive money using Novi on WhatsApp.  “People use WA to coordinate sending money to loved ones, and now Novi will help them do that securely, instantly and no fees,” he added.

In October, Meta, previously known as Facebook, officially introduced a digital currency pilot in alliance with leading crypto exchange Coinbase and stablecoin company Paxos. The pilot started in the United States and Guatemala, with the use of Pax Dollar (USDP), a dollar-pegged stablecoin created by blockchain trust firm Paxos.

The Open Markets Institute, a non-profit organisation based in the United States, thereafter issued a letter to various regulators, including the U.s. Department Of justice, claiming that Meta may be "in the illegal business of receiving deposits without a bank charter." The organisation notably stated that USDP is one of the fewer stablecoins, "with far less liquidity and usage" than top stable coins such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).

“There are several legal and regulatory implications for Facebook’s pilot that warrant particular attention by the agencies,” according to the Open Markets Institute letter.

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