Despite some senators in the United States opposing the launch of Meta and its digital currency products, the development of the digital wallet of the social media giant, Novi, continues apace. Stephane Kasriel, the head of Meta Novi's cryptocurrency and fintech unit, officially announced on December 8 that the meta-messaging subsidiary WhatsApp has begun testing transactions through Meta's Novi wallet. According to the executive, the new feature is available to a "limited number of people" in the United States, allowing users to send and receive money on WhatsApp "instantly and without fees." Kasriel noted that Meta has been able to test and learn which features and functionalities are “most important to people” since they introduced the Novi pilot project in mid-October. He added that using Novi does not affect the privacy of WhatsApp messages and personal calls, "which are always end-to-end encrypted". Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, confirmed the news on Twitter, noting that some US users can now send and receive money with Novi on WhatsApp. "People use WA to coordinate the sending of money to loved ones, and now Novi will help them do it securely, instantly and without fees," he wrote.
Formerly known as Facebook, Meta officially launched a pilot digital currency in partnership with leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and stablecoin firm Paxos in October. The pilot project was initially rolled out in the United States and Guatemala, using Pax Dollar (USDP), a dollar-pegged stablecoin issued by the blockchain trust company Paxos. A US nonprofit, the Open Markets Institute, later sent a letter to multiple regulators, including the US Department of Justice, arguing that Meta may be "in the illegal business of receiving deposits without a bank card ". The organization specifically pointed out that USDP is one of the smaller stablecoins, "with much less liquidity and use" compared to the best stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). "There are several legal and regulatory implications for the Facebook pilot project that deserve special attention from agencies," the letter from the Open Markets Institute said.WHAT ARTICLE