Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra renamed as “Diem” to gain regulatory approvals

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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US-based social media giant Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra will be now known in a new name. It was renamed “Diem” in a renewed attempt to obtain regulatory approval by emphasizing the project’s independence.

Facebook’s first-ever Libra plans were cut in April last year after regulators and central banks expressed concern that privacy could be threatened to increase financial stability and deregulate monetary policy.

Stuart Levey, CEO of the Geneva-based Diem Association which is behind the planned digital coin said that the rename is part of a move to emphasize a simpler, revamped structure.

Mr. Levey said, “The original name was tied to an early iteration of the project that received a difficult reception from regulators. We have dramatically changed that proposition.”

Diem, which means “day” in Latin is now intending to initially launch a single digital coin backed by dollars, he continued. He refused to comment on the launching of the Diem. But some reports say that it can be launched in early January after the Swiss market watchdog has approved it.

Facebook has renamed its payment unit Calibra to Novi Financial in May and this Novi Financial will remains one of the 27 members of the Dime Association, formerly the Libra Association. Novi’s head, David Marcus will be one of Diem’s five board members.

“They are a crucial member of the association,” Levy said of Facebook’s continued intervention. He further added, “We are not trying to cut all ties, by any stretch. It (the name change) is to signify that the association is operating autonomously and independently.”

Mr. Levy continued that Diem strives to set itself apart from others through its focus on aspects of interest to regulators and western governments, including penalty controls and financial crime.

The venture has stated it will establish anti-money laundering, terrorist funding and penalty enforcement policies. And also it has dropped earlier proposals to enable anyone to join its network.