WhatsApp Launches Instant Cryptocurrency Payments in the US

WhatsApp has launched a cryptocurrency payment feature for a small number of users in the United States, thanks to Novi integration, a digital wallet owned by Facebook (now Meta).

Novi WhatsApp
The pilot program lets users of the encrypted messaging app send and receive money "instantly, securely, and with no fees" using the Paxos Dollar (USPD) stablecoin, whose value is linked to the US dollar.

The way the payments work in WhatsApp is similar to sending regular attachments in a conversation. Users tap the plus (+) icon and then select Payment from the menu that appears. Users who are paid this way receive USDP, which can be withdrawn to a bank account in its equivalent value in US dollars.

There's no cap on the number of times the Novi system can be used to send and receive money through WhatsApp. Regardless of frequency of use, there are no fees associated with keeping a balance in a Novi account or withdrawing it to a bank account. In addition, the inclusion of Novi in the chat platform has no effect on the end-to-end encryption of personal messages.

The small pilot program is available to some users in the US from today. For more information about the WhatsApp integration, check out the Novi website.

The pilot is one outcome of Meta's cryptocurrency plans, which have changed since they were officially announced in 2019. Back then, the plan was to develop a cryptocurrency called Libra that would be linked to a Facebook digital wallet called Calibra.

However, Libra has since become Diem, and Calibra has become Novi, and instead of using Diem, Novi has adopted the Paxos stablecoin in partnership with Coinbase, which is the custody partner that holds the funds for the pilot.

WhatsApp already offers payment systems in India and Brazil, but these used traditional fiat currencies rather than crypto.

(Via WaBetaInfo.)

Top Rated Comments

i.am.lost Avatar
7 weeks ago
“However, Libra has since become Diem, and Calibra has become Novi, and instead of using Diem, Novi has adopted the Paxos stablecoin in partnership with Coinbase”

What did I just read?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LivingMyBeachLife Avatar
7 weeks ago
It's comically to see What'sApp referred to as an "encrypted messaging app". Signal is an encrypted messaging app and should be marketed as such.

WhatsApp or any other app owned by Meta should not be considered secure / private / encrypted.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TracerAnalog Avatar
7 weeks ago
Meta: give us all your data, and let us manage your money please. We promise* not to misuse* your, well actually, OUR data.

*Meta will be the judge of that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dynamojoe Avatar
7 weeks ago
No way in hell am I giving Meta (neé Facebook) any info about my crypto holdings. That's just not going to happen.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HacKage Avatar
7 weeks ago

Testing in the US seems logical, but I really bet it will be huge in other markets where WhatsApp has dominance. Especially if you can do transactions in the local currency or a tied, fixed equivalent
Forgive me if I have this wrong, but I was of the understanding that bank transfers between people aren't really a thing in the US, hence why there are so many apps like Venmo etc that facilitate sending money?

I can't see this being a hit elsewhere in the world where sending money to someone directly through bank transfer is just as easy, if not easier than the alternatives. If I pay for something like a meal using my bank card, I can instantly send a payment request to my friends for their share without extra steps or moving from one app to another.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bartmoss Avatar
7 weeks ago
#ThingsTheWorldDoesntNeed
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

whatsapp multi device support

WhatsApp Rolls Out Multi-Device Support to All Users on iOS and Android

Monday November 8, 2021 1:19 am PST by
WhatsApp has rolled out multi-device support to all users on iOS and Android, allowing WhatsApp to be used on up to four linked devices without users needing to be connected via a smartphone. To enable multi-device support, users need to join the multi-device beta. Launch WhatsApp on iPhone, then select Settings -> Linked Devices. Select Multi-Device Beta, then tap Join Beta. Once that's...
whatsapp notification

WhatsApp Starts Rolling Out Profile Pictures in iOS Message Notifications

Thursday January 6, 2022 1:53 am PST by
WhatsApp is testing a helpful new feature on iOS that displays profile pictures in system notifications when users receive new messages from chats and groups. Image credit: WABetaInfo First spotted by app specialist WABetaInfo, the first new feature for the platform in 2022 uses APIs in iOS 15 to add the WhatsApp profile images to notifications in top-screen banners and in the Notification...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Working on App for iPadOS and macOS Using Mac Catalyst

Tuesday November 16, 2021 5:37 am PST by
WhatsApp is working on an app for iPadOS, and thanks to Mac Catalyst, an app for macOS too, according to WABetaInfo. WhatsApp's rumored app for iPad will be a Catalyst app, enabling it to run seamlessly on macOS. This effectively allows the same app to share code while running on separate platforms. The new WhatsApp app for macOS apparently looks very similar to the app for iPadOS,...
WhatsApp Global Voice Note player WABetaInfo

WhatsApp Tests Ability to Play Voice Messages Outside of Chat Threads

Wednesday January 12, 2022 2:13 am PST by
WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature to users of its beta app that adds the ability to continue listening to a voice message after you've exited the chat thread it was received in. WhatsApp has been working on a global voice note player for some time to let users listen to voice messages in the background while navigating around the app. Currently, if you play a voice note and then exit ...
whatsapp disappearing messages default

WhatsApp Makes Disappearing Messages a Default Option With Multiple Durations

Tuesday December 7, 2021 2:13 am PST by
WhatsApp says it is rolling out a new option that makes disappearing messages the default behavior for all new chats on the end-to-end encrypted messaging platform. It's been over a year since WhatsApp launched its disappearing messages feature, which allows messages, photos, and videos to be marked to disappear after seven days. The feature can be enabled for direct messages and in groups...
Whatsapp E2EE Backups

WhatsApp to Let Users Encrypt Chat Backups Uploaded to iCloud

Saturday September 11, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
WhatsApp has announced it will give its two billion users the option to upload their chat backups to Apple's iCloud using password-protected encryption. Currently, WhatsApp on iPhone lets users back up their chat history to ‌iCloud‌, but messages and media that users back up aren't protected by WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption while in ‌‌Apple's cloud servers‌. Given that Apple...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp to Force Users to Accept Privacy Changes

Tuesday March 2, 2021 2:18 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will handle users who do not accept the platform's widely discussed privacy policy changes, which include increased data sharing with parent company Facebook, due to come into effect next month. WhatsApp's new banner explaining its privacy policy changes In the weeks leading up to May, WhatsApp will begin to roll out a small, in-app banner to users who have...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp to Roll Out Multi-Device Support, Hints at Future iPad App

Thursday June 3, 2021 3:58 am PDT by
In an interview with WABetaInfo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the popular messaging app will soon be rolling out multi-device capability, allowing users to use their WhatsApp account on up to four different linked devices even when their main smartphone is not connected to the internet. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook has faced "a big technical challenge" in getting "all...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud General Feature

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...