Facebook rebrands digital wallet to escape Libra - Mobile World Live

Facebook rebrands digital wallet to escape Libra

27 MAY 2020

Facebook revamped its Calibra digital wallet, rebranding the service to Novi, in an apparent attempt to differentiate the platform from its Libra cryptocurrency project.

In a blog post, David Marcus, head of Facebook’s digital wallet play, said the rebranded Novi wallet would also gain a new logo, which includes a Libra icon, “to underscore our commitment to the Libra network”.

The move comes a month after Facebook moved to reposition the Libra cryptocurrency project, scaling back its initial vision to make it run more akin to a traditional digital payments platform, to appease regulators.

The company first unveiled Libra and the Libra Association, the group designed to operate the Libra cryptocurrency, in June 2019.

As part of the initial vision, Facebook and its partners aimed to develop new digital currencies, operated on the Calibra payments wallet, powered through blockchain technology. However, the project came under fire from regulators in the Europe and the US, which led to several high profile backers, including Vodafone Group, pulling out.

By rebranding Calibra to Novi, it appears Facebook is now attempting to make it clear that Libra is a separate entity from its digital wallet.

Marcus added Novi will operate as a standalone app, as well as on its Messenger and WhatsApp platforms, with no remittance costs and instant transfers.

It will be operated by Novi Financial, a Facebook subsidiary that operates independently from Facebook.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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