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Facebook’s Calibra rebrands to Novi wallet

Facebook subsidiary and Libra wallet provider Calibra, has recently been rebranded to Novi. The new wallet product is designed to hold Libra’s different digital currencies. 

Novi stated: “While we’ve changed our name from Calibra,” Furthermore, “we haven’t changed our long-term commitment to helping people around the world access affordable financial services.”

Novi also provided insights on how the product will function. The digital wallet will work as a standalone app and offer interoperability with Facebook’s social messaging applications Messenger and WhatsApp.

Designed to make money sending process as “easy as sending a message,” transactions through Novi will instantly arrive, and will not contain any “hidden charges.” Novi customers will be verified using government-issued identity documents, while “fraud protections” will be incorporated. The wallet will initially be introduced in a limited number of countries.

The release date of Novi is still unclear, however, the project plans to introduce “an early version of Novi when the Libra network is available.”

The Libra project has encountered a number of setbacks as regulators and governments have raised concerns over the perceived risks of the project with respect to the financial crimes, some even referring it as a threat to monetary sovereignty. In 2019, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, stated that his company, which is part of the Libra Association, would quit if the project were released prematurely.

There have been other problems as well. Last year, major companies such as Uber, PayPal, Visa, Stripe, MercadoLibre, Bookings.com, and Mastercard were all in favor of Facebook’s new crypto project.

However, after coercion from U.S. regulators and lawmakers in October, Visa, Mastercard and Stripe were forced to withdraw their associations with Libra. The project has, however, been adding more members since then, including its first state-owned entity, Temasek.

Libra has been hiring ex-U.S. government officials – probably to ease its regulatory path to launch – having hired two former staffers from FinCEN in recent weeks.