ShinyShiny snippets: WhatsApp trials in-app cryptocurrency payments

WhatsApp is trialling in-app cryptocurrency payments using the Novi digital wallet, also owned by Meta. The small pilot follows the failure to launch Libra as a global digital currency, meaning the feature is only available for WhatsApp users in Guatemala and the US at the moment. But the long-term aim for Meta is the same. In its words: solving the challenges faced by 1.7 billion adults globally who are unable to engage with global financial systems. In a statement announcing the WhatsApp partnership, Novi said: “Being shut out of the global financial system has real consequences for people’s lives, and it’s often the most underserved people who pay the highest price. “Costs are high and waits are long when people want to send money to their families internationally.” Sky News 

Football clubs have potentially made hundreds of millions of pounds selling controversial crypto “fan tokens”. Analysis commissioned by BBC News estimates more than £262m ($350m) has been spent on the virtual currencies. Some of the tokens are marketed as offering real-world perks to the buyer. But critics say these perks are insignificant – one offered the chance to vote for songs to be played in stadiums – and clubs have insufficient protection for supporters. So far, across the five major European leagues 24 different clubs have launched or are considering fan tokens, including eight Premier League sides. Most offer tokens akin to a club-specific crypto-currency – virtual coins can be bought and sold and their value rise and fall depending on supply and demand. Some clubs, such as Manchester City, also sell digital collectibles known as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). BBC 

Electric scooters are to be banned on London’s Tube network, buses and trains, amid concerns over fire risks from defective batteries. Transport for London said privately-owned e-scooters and e-unicycles, including those that can be folded or carried, would not be allowed on its transport network or any of its premises from Monday after reports of them catching fire on its services. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is chairman of the transport authority. TfL said it had recorded two incidents in recent weeks of e-scooters or e-unicycles emitting toxic smoke as a result of unsafe lithium-ion batteries. The London Fire Brigade has recorded more than 50 fires involving e-scooters and e-bikes this year. Telegraph 

The iPhone 14 Pro models could feature a ‘hole-punch’ display – a first for Apple – if the latest rumours are to be believed. Korean website The Elec claims that the 6.1-inch ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro and a 6.7-inch ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max will use an upgraded display that does away with the unsightly ‘notch’ found on the current iPhone 13 series. So-called ‘hole-punch’ displays have a tiny hole at the top of the screen for the selfie camera. Android smartphone makers such as Samsung have already switched to the design, which allows the face of the phone to be ‘all screen’. What Hi-Fi

Oppo is known for its intriguing concepts exploring the future of mobile technology, but until now, the company hasn’t actually launched a proper foldable of its own — even though it did tease some interesting takes on the form factor last year. It looks like this is about to change, as the company has just published a blog post detailing the journey to its first foldable, the Oppo Find N, which it wants to fully launch on December 15. Needless to say, we’re already in for a first look ahead of that day thanks to notorious leaker Evleaks. Android Police 

Chris Price