After facing a lot of uphill challenges when it launched its whitepaper nearly a year ago, the cryptocurrency project from Facebook, Libra, has been making a number of changes to try and get towards its new launch date with the blessing of regulators.
The latest change has seen Calibra, Libra’s wallet provider, change its name to Novi which quite cleverly is a combination of the Latin root words, “novus” meaning new and “via” meaning way. This may refer to the new way of doing finance for Libra, or a new way of approaching regulations.
The name does not do much in terms of the change to the project, rather the actual changes to the project have already been announced earlier this year. Instead of basing its project around creating a new currency — as was purported an issue by regulators — the project’s new changes, such as Libra’s multi-currency stablecoin LBR being backed by new stablecoins, instead of by fiat currencies living in a bank account somewhere, are aimed at helping it get by regulators and also put it back on a certain roadmap.
Linked to other apps
Because Facebook also owns the popular messaging app Whatsapp, as well as Instagram, there is a little more information about how these apps will be integrated.
“While we’ve changed our name from Calibra,” Novi said in a statement, “we haven’t changed our long-term commitment to helping people around the world access affordable financial services.” Just in case you were worried about that.
The digital wallet now called Novi will operate as a standalone app, but there will be interoperability with Facebook’s social messaging apps Messenger and WhatsApp.
The intention being that the transfer of value should be as easy as sending a message. Transactions with Novi will arrive instantly, according to the announcement, and will contain no “hidden charges.”
All Novi customers will need to be verified using government-issued ID, while fraud protections will be incorporated in. The wallet will initially be rolled out to a limited number of countries too, it is stated.
Still pushing ahead
The changes to Libra have certainly watered down the initial excitement of a Facebook created cryptocurrency. May saw this as a way to introduce the world to crypto through a trusted platform, but part of the reason was the actual lack of trust in Facebook after its privacy issues.