The popular messaging application WhatsApp announced on Thursday that it would be launching a cryptocurrency payment method for its U.S. users.
The service makes sending and receiving money as streamlined as sending messages back and forth, integrating payments seamlessly into the app’s interface.
The new feature has users connect to the Novi digital wallet service which utilizes Pax Dollars (USDP) for its instant transfers.
Novi was created by Meta (formerly Facebook), which also owns WhatsApp. The company said when launching Novi in 2020 that transactions would “be as easy as sending a message”:
“With Novi, sending money will be as easy as sending a message. You’ll be able to use Novi as a stand-alone app, as well as in Messenger and WhatsApp. There will be no hidden charges to add, send, receive or withdraw money, and your transfers will arrive instantly. All Novi customers will be verified using government-issued ID, and fraud protections will be built in throughout the app.”
The new system will allow users to use Novi on WhatsApp by logging into their Novi accounts through WhatsApp’s interface. If you do not yet have an account, you can create one on WhatsApp easily. From that point on, the process of sending money is exactly the same as sending an attachment: simply click the paper clip icon, choose payment, enter an amount, and your transaction is processed instantly.
While this feature’s accessibility is currently a pilot program, Meta is looking to integrate it into WhatsApp in the long term.
Meta expands from social media into crypto and the metaverse
Meta changed its corporate name from Facebook in October. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement at the company’s annual Connect Conference event. Meta, which owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, is one of the most powerful technology companies in the world, and is now looking to expand itself into the “metaverse.”
“We are a company that builds technology to connect. together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
Zuckerberg currently owns the domain name meta.com and the Twitter handle @meta.
The company also announced a new creation, a metaverse called Horizon, at the same conference.
The metaverse (or “Horizon Home,” in its personal version) involves users working, gaming, and communicating in a virtual world with the use of VR headsets.
Zuckerberg, who has spearheaded the shift toward virtual reality, recently announced that the company would hire 10,000 skilled workers from the EU to help construct the metaverse platform.
“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. We will be able to express ourselves in completely new, joyful new ways,” he declared. When, he said, he shares photos of his children with his parents via the Metaverse, “They’re going to feel like they’re right there with us,” he enthused.