WhatsApp logo (via Pixabay).

Wuabit bringing a cryptocurrency wallet to WhatsApp next month

The wallet would give 1.5 billion WhatsApp users access to a simple-to-use cryptocurrency wallet

Wuabit will bring its cryptocurrency wallet for WhatsApp messaging service in public beta next month, Britain’s Express reports.

With a reported 1.5 billion WhatsApp users worldwide, that would give it a massive potential user base. And that number could grow dramatically when Facebook integrates WhatsApp with Instagram and Facebook, a plan set for early 2020, according to the New York Times.

Simplicity will be a key aspect of the Wuabit wallet, which will be accessible through a chat interface, with users just typing in, “commands like ‘send 0.05BTC to Vera’ and Wuabit will send the cash,” a Wuabit spokesman said. “We are near completing the wallet core service starting with [Bitcoin] BTC. By using WhatsApp/SMS/Telegram you can access that wallet easily.”

AI will be an important component of Wuabit, with the company saying “[a]s easy as you chat with a friend, you can chat with your Wuabit assistant,” on its website.

While public awareness of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies grew dramatically as the price of one Bitcoin ran up to $20,000 at the end of 2017, it is still not very widely used, or even understood. Wuabit’s goal is to allow access to everything from market prices to smart contracts.

In a Medium post in September 2018, Wuabit founder and CTO Manuel Polo discussed security, noting that it will rely on the user’s phone PIN and other features like two-factor authentication available through WhatsApp. All Wuabit conversations will have end-to-end encryption, the backend servers will not store private keys, and almost all funds will be stored in an offline cold wallet, among other features, he wrote.

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.