Facebook’s Libra renamed Diem in major brand and executive overhaul – Financial News

The Facebook-backed digital currency project Libra has been rebranded as Diem, as the organisation behind the coin seeks to emphasise its independence from the tech giant.

The Libra Association –now the Diem Association – said it’s adopting a new name and announcing a slew of key executives hires to “reinforce its organisational independence as it progresses towards regulatory approval”.

Libra, which was launched by Facebook alongside other founding members in 2019, has faced numerous stumbling blocks as regulators voiced concerns about the currency’s potential impact on global financial stability and security.

The Diem Association has announced multiple new hires as part of the refresh, including a new chief technology officer, chief of staff, chief legal officer and chief financial and risk officer.

Geneva-based Diem said the overhaul was part of its effort to achieve regulatory approval, as well as a payments licence for its digital wallet subsidiary from Finma. It added that talks are ongoing in this area, though its launch could be as soon as January, the Financial Times reported.

The rebrand “signals the project’s growing maturity and independence,” the Diem Association’s chief executive Stuart Levey said in the 1 December statement.

Diem intends to launch digital coins each pegged to a single currency, such as the US dollar, the pound or euro, as well as a multi-currency coin which will be tethered to a basket of global currencies. Stablecoins like these are thought to be less volatile than major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, as their value is tied to at least one traditional currency.

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The G7 said in October that no global stablecoin project, of which Diem is one, “should begin operation until it adequately addresses relevant legal, regulatory and oversight requirements”.

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“The evolution of the project results from constructive ongoing engagement with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders,” Levey added.

The word “diem” translates to “day” in Latin, which the firm said “denotes a new day for the project”. Facebook had already changed the name of Diem’s wallet subsidiary from Callibra to Novi Financial earlier this year, in a bid to separate the payments firm from the coin project itself.

Facebook is one of 27 founding members of the Libra Association, though several of those founders later exited the project, including Visa, eBay, Mastercard, Stripe and PayPal.

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle



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