Facebook’s digital currency project rebrands to Novi; WhatsApp and fiat-pegged token capabilities remain


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Calibra is no more.

Just the name, though. Facebook’s ambitious digital currency project underwent a major rebranding on May 26, including a change in name, logo, design, and the addition of some new features.

The “new way”

As per an official Facebook announcement, Calibra is now Novi, an upcoming digital currency wallet used to access FB’s Libra protocol. The word derives from Latin words “via” and “novus,” which equate to “new way.” The parent company has also been renamed to Novi Financial instead of the earlier.

David Marcus, head of Facebook’s digital currency division, noted a portion of Calibra’s old logo — a wave — was included in Novi’s logo as a nod to its predecessor. He also linked to a video of the new brand in the post.

Calibra’s logo raised some controversy at its time, with critics noting its similarities to neo-bank Current.

The rebrand is a part of a series of changes that Facebook intends to bring to its Libra project. Thus far, the company has faced intense regulatory scrutiny and lost several founding members, such as Mastercard and Visa. However, Libra has since bounced back, it’s gotten in new members, is better conforming with regulatory requirements, and is avoiding making any controversial statements in the regard.

In 2019, Facebook said a Libra token would be backed by a collection of fiat currencies issued by central banks, creating a stablecoin for cross-border transfers and transactions of sorts.

Now, the company is exploring multiple tokens pegged to various currencies as part of the broader Libra ecosystem. Novi’s website notes this includes currencies like the U.S. dollar, Euro, and the British pound. However, the mentions remain examples, instead of a definitive announcement.

No launch date

Despite the rebrand, Facebook notes all other capabilities remain similar to Calibra’s mission. The firm wants users to send money “as easy as sending a message,” and plans to integrate the Novi wallet with WhatsApp and Messenger, both Facebook-owned messaging brands.

Users will need a government-issued ID to sign up for the service, but Libra promises no-hidden-fee transfers and a 24/7 chat-based support.

Meanwhile, no launch date for Novi or Libra has been announced, despite the rebrand. Any online promotions of the project, as CryptoSlate noted previously, are internet scams and should not be believed.

Marcus tweeted an “early version” of Novi will be launched when the Libra network is available:

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