Social media titan Facebook (FB) - Get Report announced Tuesday that it’s changing the name of its digital wallet to Novi from Calibra in an apparent bid to distinguish the name from its troubled Libra digital currency.
“We’re excited to introduce Novi -- the new name and brand for the digital wallet that will help people send and hold Libra digital currencies,” David Marcus, head of Novi, wrote in a blog.
“While we’ve changed our name from Calibra, we haven’t changed our long-term commitment to helping people around the world access affordable financial services.”
The name Novi was inspired by the Latin words “novus” for “new” and “via” for “way,” according to Marcus. “It’s a new way to send money, and Novi’s new visual identity and design represent the fluid movement of digital currencies,” Marcus said.
Facebook first announced its Libra currency to great fanfare in 2019. But it quickly drew opposition from government officials, leading the company to pledge it wouldn’t launch Libra without approval from U.S. regulators.
In October, PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report left the Libra Association, the group of companies cooperating with Facebook on the venture and was soon followed by eBay (EBAY) - Get Report, Mastercard (MA) - Get Report, Stripe and Visa (VISA) .
According to Marcus, Novi makes sending money as easy as sending a message. “Our hope is to introduce an early version of Novi when the Libra network is available,” Marcus said, and Facebook will roll out Novi gradually around the world.
Facebook shares recently traded at $235.02, up 0.05%. The stock has gained 20% over the past three months, compared to a 4% decline for the S&P 500 index over that period.