Popular messaging application WhatsApp is looking to get into the crypto payments scene. The messaging giant is now testing digital currency payments through native digital wallet from Facebook (Now Meta) on its platform. Meta is WhatsApp’s parent company and could be the perfect destination to test out the new digital currency wallet. It has been Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s dream to get involved more and more in the crypto sector and now it appears like phase one of that dream is coming.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was interested in the digital currency for some time. In 2019, he announced the development of a new cryptocurrency and payment system called Libra. However, Meta (then Facebook Inc.) was under heavy pressure from the political community amid reports of manipulation of elections and fake news being rampant on it. According to these reports, the organization either turned a blind eye on fake news running rampant around the social media giant or it aided and abetted in it. As a result, as soon as Facebook announced its move to start a new digital currency called Libra, the authorities immediately responded and placed restrictions on the company to engage in these activities. Both Europe and USA took the lead in this matter.
Eventually, Meta had to cancel the Libra project and rebrand itself, which it did. The company’s Novi wallet is a stripped down version of the Libra project so that regulators will have far less objections. But even with this Libra lite project, the company can make several inroads into the digital currency scene because of the sheer popularity of its social media platforms.
According to Stephane Kasriel, the head of the Meta Cryptocurrency and Fintech Unit:
There’s a new way to try the @Novi digital wallet. Starting today, a limited number of people in the US will be able to send and receive money using Novi on @WhatsApp, making sending money to family and friends as easy as sending a message. pic.twitter.com/dGz3lejri7
— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) December 8, 2021
The Novi wallet was quietly unveiled by Meta back in October this year and now it could see its first major usage breakthrough. However, some regulators and activists are still after Meta for stepping its toes in the digital currency scene. A non-profit named Open Markets Institute wrote a letter to the US Department of Justice and argued that Meta was looking to become an intermediary bank without a bank charter. This might become a hassle for the fledgling digital currency wallet, especially if the wallet scales and funding issues are reported.
Image Source: pixabay.com
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