A cryptocurrency payment feature has been launched by WhatsApp for a select number of users in the United States. Novi integration, a Facebook (Meta) owned digital wallet, is now integrated into the WhatsApp messaging platform. Being initially launched as a pilot program, the cryptocurrency payment feature allows users to receive and send money using Paxos Dollar (USPD) "instantly, securely, and with no fees".
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. 💸💬 pic.twitter.com/dGz3lejri7— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) December 8, 2021
Sending payments through WhatsApp is akin to sending regular attachments in a messaging conversation. By tapping the add/plus (+) icon, the option for "Payment" will now appear on the menu. Users who elect to use this cryptocurrency payment feature will receive USDP, which allows for withdrawal into their bank accounts due to Paxos Dollars' value being linked to the US Dollar (USD).
There are no fees with either maintaining a balance in a Novi cryptocurrency account nor making withdrawals into a bank account. Nor does incorporating Novi in the messaging platform impact end-to-end encryption of chats.
Although Meta had announced back in 2019 that it had intended on launching a cryptocurrency called Libra, the small-scale pilot program being launched in the US today is a direct derivative of that same goal.