The Libra plan, which was first issued by Facebook last year, was scaled back in April, after regulators and central banks raised concerns that it might undermine financial stability, weaken control of monetary policy and threaten privacy.
Stuart Levey, chief executive of the Geneva-based Diem Association, said the name change on Tuesday was part of an initiative that emphasized simplifying the structure.
Levy told Reuters: “The initial name was related to the early iterations of the project and was welcomed by regulators. We have drastically changed this proposition.”
He added that Diem means “day” in Latin, and the goal now is to initially issue a dollar-backed digital coin.
He declined to comment on the release time. “Financial Times” reported last week that the release date may be as early as January, but that it can only be done after the approval of the Swiss market regulator.
Facebook changed the name of its payment unit Calibra to Novi Financial in May and remains one of the 27 members of the Diem Association (formerly the Libra Association). Novi’s head David Marcus is one of Diem’s five board members.
“They are vital members of the association,” said Levey, who continues to participate in Facebook.
He added: “We will not try to cut all connections. (The name change) is to show that the association operates independently.”
Lem said that Diem’s goal is to differentiate itself by focusing on areas of concern to regulators and Western governments, including sanctions control and financial crime.
The project said it will develop anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions compliance policies, and it has abandoned its previous plan to allow anyone to join its network.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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