If you’re signing up or signing into your existing WhatsApp account, you’ll need to provide your phone number. This is versus other message apps that might allow you to create an account or sign in using an email address or using your social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, or Google.
That being said, that could change in the future. This is according to a report from WABetaInfo who discovered in the latest WhatsApp beta that the company is working on a new way of protecting your account. This will be done using your email address, which presumably will be used to verify you and also potentially help with account recovery.
It is possible that this could mean that in the future, should you lose your phone number but still want access to your WhatsApp account, you might be able to sign in using the email address you provided. That’s just speculation on our end and as WABetaInfo notes, this feature is still under development which means not much else is known about it.
The report does point out that this feature seems to be optional, meaning that you don’t have to provide your email address if you don’t want to, but it might be a good idea if you want to further protect your WhatsApp account.