- The announcement is a big step for crypto adoption
- The bot is accessible to Messenger and Telegram
- The initiative is seen as competition to Facebook Coin
WhatsApp users can now send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) using the popular message service within the App. The newly released bot from the crypto messaging service lite.im marks a huge step forward for cryptocurrency adoption.
Closer to Everyday Persons
The announcement is contained in a May 19, 2019 tweet published by the Zulu Republic and introduces a potentially easier way to send and receive Bitcoin and bring digital currencies closer to everyday persons. The tweet read:
we are happy to announce that from today you can send and receive #bitcoin & #litecoin on #WhatsApp via @liteim_official ! try it yourself here: https://t.co/JaldSafGBK @FranklynCrypto @SatoshiLite @CharlieShrem @CCNMarkets @GLRalf
— Zulu Republic (@ztxrepublic) May 19, 2019
WhatsApp is a popular messaging platform owned by Facebook and the new development comes amidst rumors that the social media giant is about to release its own cryptocurrency alongside a new payment service that will be integrated with the app.
The fiat-pegged “Facebook Coin” has in recent months been confirmed for some time in the future. A company called Waubit announced in February it was in the process of rolling out a service that would integrate crypto with WhatsApp. However, it appears with the initiative, Lite.im has beaten them with the payment that is also compatible with Facebook’s Messenger app and Telegram.
Ensuring Wider Crypto Adoption
Users wishing to send or receive cryptocurrencies via the new WhatsApp bot will need to install it and check on-screen prompts. The bot comes with a referral system that enables users to earn some cryptocurrency when they refer to friends who end up installing it as well. The bot is currently available in two languages, English and Spanish and apart from BTC and LTC it also enables sending and receiving of ZTX, the native token of Zulu Republic.
Crypto startup firms are burning the midnight oil to ensure crypto adoption receives a deeper and wider coverage with some going further to introduce crypto transactions via the regular SMS, an option that seems to be much easier as it is devoid of the need for great knowledge in using gadgets.
Competition for Facebook Coin
As BR reported recently, the Zeux payment and banking App was preparing to launch in Europe after integrating IOTA to facilitate crypto-based payments. The initiative would enable regular buyers to pay for goods and services using IOTA tokens in shops that accept Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. The company expected to launch in April in Europe and 2020 in the United States at hundreds of shops ranging from coffee shops to grocery stores.
With Facebook being said to have reached an advanced stage in its cryptocurrency plans, the initiative by Lite.im could be interpreted as competition for Facebook. While there is no official word about the exact nature of the social messaging giant’s virtual currency, a special blockchain division and a recently funded startup in Switzerland are doing the job.