Messaging giant WhatsApp has rolled out a pilot program for sending crypto payments across its platforms using the Novi wallet.
So far, the pilot program is open to a limited number of individuals in the US, and Novi chief Stephane Kasriel says Novi is still in its very early stages.
Novi utilizes USDP, a stablecoin from Paxos Trust Company. Users can deposit money with their credit or debit card (after KYC), convert their cash to USDP, and then store and transfer USDP with no fees, according to Novi. USDP will be sent and received within users’ WhatsApp chats. However, according to Facebook Financial (F2), the company eventually plans on using Diem as the preferred stablecoin on the platform.
Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, confirmed the news of the pilot program via Twitter to his 59,000 followers.
In October, when Meta, formerly known as Facebook, revealed details behind the launch of Novi, US officials wrote a public letter to the corporate giant begging Mark Zuckerberg to reconsider. The letter, written by Senators Brian Schatz, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, and Tina Smith, said that Facebook can’t be trusted to be in control of a global stablecoin transfer platform.
“Time and again, Facebook has made conscious business decisions to continue with actions that have harmed its users and the broader society. Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risks and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient. We urge you to immediately discontinue your Novi pilot and to commit that you will not bring Diem to market.”
There has been no public response to the Senators’ letter, and Meta’s Novi appears to be well on its way to potentially becoming a major player in the payments space.