Facebook Changes Blockchain Name To Avoid Confusion

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Facebook’s blockchain division, Calibra, will get a new name as a way to distance it from Facebook’s Libra digital currency, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday (May 26). 

“The blockchain team is building a digital wallet for Facebook’s apps, which will eventually hold the Libra digital currency, but Facebook won’t control the coin,” according to the report.

“People were confusing Libra and Calibra all the time,” said David Marcus, Facebook’s head of blockchain. “In hindsight it’s hard to blame them.”

The blockchain division and the digital wallet will now be called Novi — a combination of the Latin words “Novus,” meaning “new,” and via, meaning “way,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday (May 26). 

Facebook first announced the Libra digital currency about a year ago. The stablecoin is overseen by a 27-member association. Although Libra is often called the “Facebook coin,” the social media giant isn’t involved in any decision making.

“Renaming Facebook’s blockchain division, which is building products to complement the coin, could alleviate some confusion,” Marcus told Bloomberg in an interview. 

Some potential users were under the impression that Facebook’s Calibra wallet was the only way to hold or spend the Libra coin.

Marcus said the decision wasn’t driven by regulatory concerns, though acknowledged the name change could change some perceptions, according to the report.

“Public opinion of how they see those two things interacting definitely influences the environment in which we operate, so I think it’s important,” he said.

The Libra Association was founded in October 2019 to govern Facebook’s Libra stablecoin. Stuart Levey, a former U.S. Treasury Department executive, was named Libra’s first CEO. He is also the chief legal officer of HSBC.