The popular communication platform WhatsApp is allowing a limited number of its users in the US to send and receive money using the stablecoin Pax Dollars. The feature uses the Novi digital wallet, recently launched by Meta, formerly known as Facebook.
According to Novi, the sending of payments works just like any other attachment in WhatsApp, and there are no fees for sending or receiving money. It also stated that the service will have no limits and no fees to keep the money in the Novi wallet or transfer funds to the person’s bank account.
The pilot’s origins can be traced back to when Facebook announced its cryptocurrency plans in 2019, initially centred on the creation of a new cryptocurrency called Libra, designed to be pegged to a basket of stable assets. Since then, plans have changed considerably, with Libra becoming Diem and the Novi wallet developed as part of the project.
Without a Diem currency, Meta switched to Paxos’ Pax Dollars and uses the Coinbase exchange as its custody partner. However, at the launch of Novi’s pilot in October this year, Meta reaffirmed its commitment to the Diem cryptocurrency and that it will be rolled out once it receives regulatory approval.
Meta has already rolled out fiat currency payment features for WhatsApp users in major markets like India and Brazil but it did not say where or how the US crypto payment pilot may be expanded to other markets.
"Hopefully Meta will allow other crypto assets to be moved through platforms like WhatsApp in the near future, so it does not restrict users to its own preferred currency. However, the move is an important step towards fulfilling the kind of liberating and low-cost financial transaction alternatives that Blockchain allows, helping consumers bypass expensive and often cumbersome banking systems."
Commented Eduardo Carvalho, the founder and CEO of Dynasty Global Investments AG.