- Facebook announced Tuesday it’s renaming and rebranding its digital wallet to Novi from Calibra.
- The effort, which debuted last year, is part of the company’s ambitious plan to venture into the digital currency space.
- The project so far has drawn intense scrutiny from policymakers around the globe.
The effort, which debuted last year, is part of the company’s ambitious plan to venture into the digital currency space.
Facebook is in the works to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, with the intention of making it easier for people to send money across the world. While Libra will be run by a nonprofit association supported by a range of companies and organizations, Facebook houses Novi, a digital wallet for storing and exchanging the digital coin.
However, the project quickly drew concern from policymakers around the world who worried it could heavily disrupt the financial system, risk potential money laundering and compete with fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar. Facebook says Novi will require verification with a government-issued ID and that the Novi wallet app will have “fraud protections” built in.
An early version of Novi will be introduced in select countries once Libra is available and it has secured the necessary licenses and approval, Facebook said. Novi will let people send money to one another through an app or through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Facebook said the name Novi comes from the Latin words “novus” for “new” and “via” for “way.”