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Facebook Rebrands Calibra to Novi

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

If you’re trying to launch a successful global currency, getting the brand name right is key. That must be what Facebook was thinking this week when it changed the name of the digital wallet for Libra, its new global cryptocurrency payment project.

The new name of the wallet, Novi, was rebranded from Calibra. While Facebook did not say what prompted the name change, TechCrunch speculated in its piece that, ” By rebranding Calibra to Novi, Facebook is trying to make it super clear that the Libra project isn’t a Facebook project per se. Facebook is just a member of the Libra Association with dozens of other members, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, Iliad, Lyft, Shopify, Spotify, Uber, etc.”

However, the new Novi brand has not completely left Libra out of its new look. The wallet incorporated the three waves of Calibra’s logo into the design of its new logo. The Facebook subsidiary said it did so, “to underscore our commitment to the Libra network.”

The Novi wallet, which was named as a combination of the words “novus via” (Latin for “new way”), will offer a standalone app for instant cryptocurrency transfers. Users will also be able to transfer funds via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

As of now, there is no word on the fee structure. However, Novi said in its announcement that there will be no “hidden” fees for money transfers, indicating that the wallet will be transparent about the pricing. Novi is aiming to launch in a limited number of countries when the Libra network is available.

It’s a good time to launch a digital wallet. With consumers all across the globe eschewing cash for digital payments in order to be more conscious about transfering the coronavirus, there is likely to be higher demand for digital payment technologies. That said, mainstream consumers have been notoriously wary of cryptocurrencies, so they may opt for tap-to-pay or QR code payment methods before they are willing to use a cryptocurrency.