Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra changes names

Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra changes names
© Diem Network

The Facebook-backed cryptocurrency project Libra is changing its name to reflect adjustments made by its designers to "meet regulatory expectations," according to a statement released Tuesday.

The Libra Association announced its new title is Diem Association, named for the Latin word for "day." The digital currency will be called the Diem Dollar.

The group said the renaming represents a "new day" for the project and maintains the goal of creating a secure and straightforward platform to conduct quick and low-cost transactions worldwide.


The renaming is an effort by the company to gain a foothold in the emerging market and win over regulators and lawmakers, according to Bloomberg

When Libra was announced in the summer of 2019, legislators and regulators worried about users' privacy, the potential for money laundering and concerns Facebook would take power away from centralized banks.

In October of last year, Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook's Zuckerberg lets more employees work remotely Hillicon Valley: Advocacy groups target Facebook employees in push to keep Trump off platform | Senior Biden cyber nominees sail through Senate hearing | State Dept. urges Nigeria to reverse Twitter ban Advocacy groups target Facebook employees in push to keep Trump off platform MORE told U.S. House lawmakers he would support delaying the incoming cryptocurrency "unless all U.S. regulators approve it."

The following month, Reps. Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaBiden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE (D-Texas) and Lance GoodenLance GoodenHillicon Valley: House targets tech giants with antitrust bills | Oversight chair presses JBS over payment to hackers | Trump spokesman to join tech company | YouTube suspends GOP senator House unveils antitrust package to rein in tech giants Roy introduces bill blocking Chinese Communist Party members from buying US land MORE (R-Texas) drafted a bill that would place Libra digital coin under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which would subject the cryptocurrency to a rigorous regulatory framework.

Facebook gave over control of the project to a 21-member team tasked with overseeing the cryptocurrency's launch.

Now, the new Diem Association plans to take a slow and more focused approach to issue a stablecoin — a digital currency tethered to an outside asset — connected with the U.S. dollar.

The group also said it would cancel previous planning to transition to a "permissionless" blockchain, which would have allowed anyone to participate in verifying transactions, according to Bloomberg.