The global stablecoin project that drew everyone’s attention last year, Libra, is now rebranding itself to “Diem”, in hopes to ease its regulatory approval process, the Diem Association said in a press release on 1 December.
Meaning “day” in Latin, the new name has the goal of showing regulators that the project has distanced itself from the original vision of Facebook, and has strengthened its “organizational independence”. While the project originally intended to release a global-stablecoin backed by a “basket” of currencies, it has since changed its narrative in an attempt to appease regulators worldwide. The CEO of the Diem Association, Stuart Levey, said in a statement:
“The Diem project will provide a simple platform for fintech innovation to thrive and enable consumers and businesses to conduct instantaneous, low-cost, highly secure transactions. We are excited to introduce Diem — a new name that signals the project’s growing maturity and independence.”
It is likely that the project is now attempting to launch a single stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar, the Financial Times reported last Friday. Citing “three people involved in the initiative”, the publication claimed that the Diem Association was aiming for a January 2021 launch, and that the new entity will be licensed through the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
The project has had regulatory troubles ever since it was announced. Soon after its whitepaper was released in June 2019, U.S. Congress held a hearing, with members expressing their distrust of Facebook. Following months of regulatory pressure, the association lost many of its original members, most of which financial services firms.
This is not the first time that a name connected to the original Facebook-led project has been changed this year. Back in May, Facebook gave its Calibra wallet a new name and look, rebranding it to Novi. While the social media giant is not a member of Diem’s governing body, its Novi subsidiary is a founding member.