The program is called the Novi Wallet and was started by Facebook now known as Meta. United States users now have the ability to use WhatsApp to send payments in the US dollar stable coins.
Novi’s goal is to allow people worldwide to send and receive money quickly and efficiently with minimal costs by the use of mobile phones. Stephane Kasriel the Vice President of Novi and the head of Whatsapp, Will Cathcart both tweeted on Dec. 8th that the wallet was starting to roll out on Facebook’s famous messaging service, which it purchased for $16 billion in cash and stock in 2014.
The first Novi pilot program launched on Oct. 19th, allowing payments between the US and Guatemala with the use of a separate Novi app. The WhatsApp pilot is only available within the US.
Both projects are using Coinbase’s custody services and complete payments through Paxos’ USDP stable coin. Paxos CEO Chad Cascarilla was one of six executives that spoke before Congress yesterday, and the business has taken measures to operate within the regulatory framework, as well as receiving a banking charter from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
One thing the new pilot is lacking is Metas Diem stable coin. Since Facebook introduced Libra in 2019 Diem has become the target for scrutiny. The head of Facebook’s financial services David Marcus told members of Congress after the project that it has only gone uphill. Marcus recently has departed the Meta team but before doing so he said. “Another small step in the right direction.” and “The best farewell gift from the best team ever!”