Facebook Rebrands Cryptocurrency Wallet Subsidiary Calibra

Facebook Inc. FB on Tuesday announced that it is rebranding its cryptocurrency wallet subsidiary "Calibra" to "Novi."

What Happened

The social media giant said the company's mission will remain intact, and it's only the branding that has been changed.

Novi will act as a digital wallet for the Libra digital currencies, once they are launched. Facebook said the name comes from joining two Latin words, "novus" and "via" to mean "new way."

Unlike Libra, which is being developed by an association, which includes Uber Technologies Inc. UBER, Lyft Inc. LYFT, and Spotify Technology SA SPOT among others, Novi is a personal project of Facebook.

The digital wallet will be accessible both as a separate app and integrated with Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp to enable users to send and receive payments in Libra currencies.

"There will be no hidden charges to add, send, receive or withdraw money and your transfers will arrive instantly," Facebook said, as it rebrands the subsidiary.

The social media company noted that all users will have to verify their identities using a government-issued ID before being allowed to make any transaction.

Why It Matters

The Libra Association in April announced that it was revamping the project.

Instead of a single US dollar-backed cryptocurrency, the Association said it will launch multiple digital currencies pegged to different fiat currencies, like the dollar, euro, British pound, and a separate Libra coin.

Facebook didn't state why it was rebranding Calibra. It is likely that the company is trying to emphasize that the digital wallet is a separate project from the Libra digital currencies.

The Mark Zuckerberg-led company has been at the center of lawmakers' scrutiny of Libra around the globe over money laundering and related issues that have been central to controversies surrounding all cryptocurrencies.

Price Action

Facebook shares closed nearly 1.2% lower at $232.20 on Tuesday and inched further lower at $231.62 in the after-hours session.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Novi.

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