Still trying to find its footing in the digital payment space, Facebook is changing the name of its digital wallet from Calibra to Novi.
“We found the old name was a little too close to the name of the Libra payments network,” according to David Marcus, head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency unit.
In Marcus’ eyes, Novi will eventually be one of many wallets connected to the Libra network.
Novi comes from the combination of two Latin words, “novus,” which means new, and “via,” which means way, he said. “Novi will offer a new way to send, receive, and secure Libra currencies,” according to Marcus.
With Novi, Marcus hopes sending money will be easy as sending a message on Facebook.
All Novi customers will be verified using government-issued ID. Fraud protections will be built in throughout a standalone app, while the service will also be available on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Since its unveiling last year, Libra has faced one hurdle after another.
Led by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Congress formally requested that Facebook suspend development of its blockchain strategy, last summer.
In a new letter& lt; /a> to Facebook executives, Waters and fellow House members suggested the company’s latest effort “raises serious privacy, trading, national security, and monetary policy concerns for not only Facebook’s over 2 billion users, but also for investors, consumers and the broader global economy.”
President Donald Trump also dismissed Libra as dead on arrival, last year. “Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability,” Trump tweeted.
In response, key partners have questioned whether Facebook has done enough to address concerns among politicians and lawmakers.
Libra will likely get a boost from Shops, a new service that lets businesses set up online stores accessible on both Facebook and Instagram.
“The basic idea is that any small business can easily start a shop to sell things directly across our apps,” Facebook’s cofound-CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a recent blog post. “If you visit someone’s shop, you'll be able to see that small business’s story, see their featured products, and buy them in our apps.”