Tech

Facebook renames its service that will let people send Libra digital currency to one another

Key Points
  • 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.
David Marcus, vice president of messaging products for Facebook Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on the sidelines of the Wall Street Journal D.Live global technology conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook announced Tuesday it's renaming and rebranding its digital wallet from Calibra to Novi.

The effort, which debuted last year, is part of the company's ambitious plan to venture into the digital currency space.  

Facebook is backing a digital payment system 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 worry it could heavily disrupt the financial system, risk potential money laundering and compete with fiat currencies such as 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."

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