London: The Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra has been renamed “Diem” in a renewed effort to gain regulatory approval by asserting the project’s independence.
Plans for Libra, which Facebook first introduced last year, were scaled back in April after regulators and central banks raised concerns that they could upset financial stability, weaken monetary policy control and threaten privacy.
Stuart Levy, chief executive of the Geneva-based Diem association behind the planned digital currency, said the name change Tuesday is part of a move to emphasize a simpler and renewed structure.
The original name was associated with an early iteration of the project that met with difficult acceptance from regulators. “We have changed that proposal dramatically,” Levy told Reuters.
He added that Diem, which means “today” in Latin, is now initially aiming to launch a single digital currency backed by the dollar.
He declined to comment on the timing of the launch, which the Financial Times reported last week that it could be as early as January, and said only that it would not proceed until after approval by the Swiss Market Watch.
Facebook, which changed the name of its Calibra payments unit to Novi Financial in May, is still one of 27 members of Diem, formerly known as the Libra Association.
Novi’s chairman, David Marcus, is one of the five DIEM board members.
“They are very important members of the association,” Levy said of the ongoing Facebook engagement.
We are not trying to cut all ties in any way. He added (change of name) that the association works independently and independently.
Levy said Diem aims to distinguish himself from others by focusing on aspects that concern Western regulators and governments, including penalties and financial crime controls.
The project said it would work to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and comply with sanctions, and abandoned previous plans to allow anyone to join its network.