Meta Launches A Pilot Phase For Novi Wallet To US WhatsApp Users

Meta — the company, formerly known as Facebook — is working on enabling crypto payments. Meta has announced that it will launch a pilot phase for crypto payments limited to US users.

This comes even as Meta faces difficulty moving into the crypto space. However, it looks like that the firm is still pushing forward with its plans despite the regulatory concerns surrounding Meta’s crypto endeavors.

WhatsApp Launched Pilot Crypto Payments

WhatsApp, a leading messenger subsidiary of Meta, has announced the launch of a pilot crypto payments program in the US. The crypto payments will be available through the Novi wallet.

The new crypto payments feature will allow WhatsApp users to send and receive funds instantly. The payments will be done at zero transaction fees, and there will be no limits in transactions a user can make.

The latest move also comes a few days after David Marcus, the lead programmer working for the Novi wallet, announced that he would be leaving the project and focusing on other interests.

The current lead developer for the Novi wallet is Stephane Kasriel. In a recent update, Stephanie noted that payments will be enabled by the USDP stablecoin.

The pilot phase will also include Novi wallet, Meta’s crypto wallet program that has been under development for over two years. Kasriel mentioned that using the Novi wallet will not affect user privacy, as chats will still have end-to-end encryption.

However, Kasriel admitted that Novi was still in its initial stages. Therefore, the firm started with a pilot phase to test how this wallet can work in different countries before analyzing the individual user experiences. She also noted that the company will appreciate users’ feedback:

“We’re still very early in the Novi pilot journey, so we made the decision to test this new entry point in one country to start and will look to extend it once we’ve heard from people what they think of this new experience.”

Facebook’s Rough Crypto Journey

Facebook, now Meta, has been attempting to venture into the crypto market for several years. Its first plans for crypto were in 2019. At the time, the company was working on the Libra project. However, this was faced with much controversy and criticism from regulators globally.

The constant threats made by governments regarding the Libra project made Meta wind down its plans. The Libra project was a success at first because it saw the participation of major payments companies such as Visa and Mastercard. However, it lost these partnerships due to mounting pressure.

In a second attempt at crypto, Meta rebranded Libra into Diem, bringing the Novi wallet. Nevertheless, the company is still facing regulatory hurdles. Still, Novi has made much progress compared to Libra because it is launching a testing phase in Guatemala and the US.

The Novi wallet is being backed by the Pax stablecoin. And while the regulatory concerns surrounding the project have blurred the future of this project, it still holds a lot of promise.

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