Facebook’s controversial Novi Stablecoin Wallet is debuting on WhatsApp, Facebook’s own messaging service with 2 billion customers.
The ability to send stablecoin payments through WhatsApp, the world’s largest messaging service, is limited to some US customers – not New Yorkers, for example.
The social media giant now known as Meta sparked global outrage two years ago when its plan to allow customers to pay through a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency called Libra – now renamed Diem and stalled Is – Central bankers, political leaders and financial institutions are scared of regulators around the world with visions of a global currency that could overwhelm their national fiat currencies and destabilize the world financial order.
In a Twitter announcement on Dec. 8, Novi’s new chairman Stephane Kasriel said, “We often hear people use WhatsApp to save sending money to loved ones, and Novi is allowing people to do so safely, to do immediately and without fees. “
Payments, adds, are shown right in people’s chat.
The Novi wallet uses the highly regulated Pax Dollar (USDP) from Paxos , the seventh largest stablecoin with a market capitalization of around 950 million US dollars. The two largest stablecoins, Tether and USD coins, have market capitalizations of $ 76 billion and $ 42 billion, respectively.
Novi transactions will be instant, free and will not compromise WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, the company announced on the Novi website.
They also require that. Die users present government-issued photo ID and some fallen video selfies. It also enables WhatsApp to ensure that transactions comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
In addition to anti-fraud monitoring and two-factor authentication, WhatsApp’s Novi / Paxos transactions offer something that is largely unknown in the crypto world.
Given that blockchain transactions are immutable – immutable and therefore irreversible – and the fact that money can be added to Novi wallets by debit card, it will inevitably require some sort of insurance from Meta.
The announcement following a small, six-week test in Guatemala and the USA to make this even better, ”said Kasriel.
Kasriel replaces David Marcus, who on November 30th announced his resignation as head of the FinTech department of Novi and Meta, citing his „entrepreneurial DNA“. At the end of the year he will be traveling.
See: David Marcus Leaves Facebook, along with the last holdover from Libra’s battered brand
In a Facebook post, Marcus called the WhatsApp rollout “another small step in the right direction” and “the best farewell gift from the best team of all time”.
Unsaid, but likely a factor, is Marcus‘ refusal to return to the whipping boy of Treasury Departments, international financial organizations, and regulators as Mark Zuckerberg attempts to convert stablecoins into an in-house currency from a tool primarily used by Bitcoin and cryptocurrency traders, which can be used anywhere from Australia to Zimbabwe.
Marcus has been the subject of violent political attack, leading the withdrawal from Libra as a global stablecoin, backed by a single basket of many currencies, including dollars and euros, to Diem, a series of national stablecoins that are converted from local currencies.
There hasn’t been an outcry yet, but it is likely that one will come.
The announcement a day after Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal.), Head of the House Financial Services Committee, beat up the CEO of Paxos for putting his Pax Dollar stablecoin in Facebook’s Novi digital wallet in a hearing „Digital assets and. had brought the future of finance. “
Put the first question of a four hour Q&A to Charles Cascarilla, CEO of Paxos, Rep. Waters said, “I’m a little worried about your company. Paxos‘ partnership with Facebook, now called Meta. As you know, from 2019 Facebook has repeatedly tried to enter the cryptocurrency market. “
Citing the political opposition to the project from then and now, Rep. Waters adds: “Now Facebook, in cooperation with Paxos, has started a pilot project with this Novi digital wallet. Was Facebook hindered in the future from allowing its fast 3 billion monthly users to make payments and save money with a previously spent stablecoin through a Novi wallet? “
Well, nothing as it seems.