Facebook is renaming Calibra, a digital wallet that it hopes will someday be used to reach Libra, Novi’s financial institutions. In a blog post the company said the new name was inspired by the Latin words “novus” and “with,” meaning “new” and “way,” respectively. Novi Financial is the new name for Facebook’s charity that will develop the company’s digital wallet.
It’s just the latest word in a series of changes that Facebook has made to its digital currency plans, which have faced significant regulatory pressure since it was announced last June. Although Facebook initially said that there would be one Libra coin linked to the national currencies, it is now planning to include more digital coins in each coin than the Libra coin. Novi’s website states that, initially, this could include currencies such as the US dollar, the British pound, and the Euro.
With a new name, Facebook’s digital wallet is also getting a new logo. The Calibra logo created controversy when it was first announced due to its resemblance to a startup bank. Novi’s logo rejects this classic design allowing for its brand name, the Libra style contained in the “o.”
Despite this change, Facebook says its Novi and Libra function remains the same: it wants to make sending money as easy as sending a “message.” It plans to create a single Novi app and a version that combines its WhatsApp and Messenger messaging services to allow you to send money to your contacts. Facebook says you will need to use a government-issued ID to sign up for the service, but promises that the transfer takes place without any hidden fees and that users will have access to 24/7 support.
Facebook’s digital currency strategies have had a great ride since the announcement. It has announced a project with dozens of partners from the world of online finance, e-commerce and tech. However, since October of last year, a quarter of the 28 members of the Libra party have been out because of seemingly good problems. This year has seen the Libra Association announce new members, however.
The new name is one thing, but the challenges of setting up a digital currency are not going anywhere. Facebook did not announce the launch date for Novi or Libra as part of today’s announcement, noting that Novi’s “original plan” will be launched when the Libra network is available.