WhatsApp enters the field of cryptocurrency payments
WhatsApp enters the field of cryptocurrency payments

WhatsApp has launched a new beta version that will allow a limited number of people in the United States to use cryptocurrencies to send and receive money in chats.

This feature supports the Novi digital Meta wallet, which launched as a beta program six weeks ago and uses Pax Dollars (USDP) for payment, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar issued by Paxos.

The news was announced by Novi President Stefan Kasriel and WhatsApp President Will Cathcart. According to Novi's website, sending a batch is similar to sending another WhatsApp attachment.

You can access this feature from the paperclip icon on Android or the + icon on iOS and then select Pay from the menu that appears.

There are no fees for sending or receiving money, and there is no limit to the number of transfers. You can keep your balance in your Novi account for free or withdraw it to your bank account. Payment is transferred instantly.

Novi beta was initially available in the United States and Guatemala. However, WABetaInfo reports that users in Guatemala will not be able to access the new WhatsApp Payments feature.

Instead, they should continue to use the standalone Novi app. The payment does not affect the full encryption of WhatsApp, which is applied by default to all face-to-face conversations.

Payment does not affect WhatsApp encryption

The new beta program is derived from the cryptocurrency program (META) that Facebook officially announced in 2019.

At the time, Facebook (as part of the Libra Association) was planning to develop and launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, which would be tied to a basket of low-volatility assets instead of a specific currency.

This is included in a digital wallet called Calibra developed by Facebook. The goal of the entire system is to provide a way to send money to any part of the world at a lower cost than traditional methods.

But since then, those plans have changed dramatically. The Libra became the Diem Association, and the Libra Association lost several key members to become the Diem Association, and it became Calibra Novi.

Novi was introduced without Diem cryptocurrency. Instead, the company switched to pax dollars. As a partner, Meta relies on the Coinbase cryptocurrency platform.

Although the WhatsApp payment plan in the US revolves around Novi and cryptocurrency, it uses traditional fiat currencies for payments in other parts of the world.

This feature was introduced last year in India as well as in Brazil.

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