Meta’s WhatsApp to Trial Novi Digital Wallet

The move comes two months after Novi’s first pilot launched.

Dec 9, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 9, 2021 at 3:17 p.m. UTC

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Meta (formerly Facebook) is launching a limited trial of its Novi digital wallet within its WhatsApp messaging platform, the social media conglomerate said Wednesday.

Novi lead Stephane Kasriel announced the move on Twitter, revealing that some number of individuals will be able to transact with the USDP (formerly Paxos Standard) stablecoin. This follows a U.S.-Guatemala remittance pilot with USDP and the Novi wallet that launched in October.

“When you add money to your Novi account, we convert it to USDP (Pax Dollar), a stable digital currency issued by Paxos Trust Company, a regulated financial institution. USDP is designed to have a stable value relative to the US dollar,” Novi said in a blog post announcing the WhatsApp integration. “So on Novi, 1 USDP is equal to 1 US dollar.”

The new pilot was announced a day after Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla told a body of lawmakers that he could not speak to Novi’s continuing pilot plans, after the announcement of the Guatemala pilot. Paxos declined to comment.

The social media giant formerly known as Facebook has faced an immense regulatory backlash for its digital currency plans, resulting in it rebranding and downscaling its original stablecoin vision from Libra to Diem. It also rebranded its digital wallet subsidiary from Calibra to Novi.

Novi chief David Marcus announced last month that he would be leaving Meta at the end of the year.

UPDATE (Dec. 9, 14:37 UTC): Adds information from Novi blog post.

UPDATE (Dec. 9, 15:17 UTC): Add that Paxos declined to comment.


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Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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