Facebook backed cryptocurrency Libra changes names

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 Diem Network, named for the word “day” in Latin. The digital currency will be called 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 ZuckerbergDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Hillicon Valley: Facebook content moderators demand more workplace protections | Ousted cyber official blasts Giuliani press conference | Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino vote MORE told U.S. House lawmakers he would support delaying the incoming cryptocurrency “unless all U.S. regulators approve it.”

The following month, in November, Reps. Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaKatherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Texas social workers drop nondiscrimination rules for LGBTQ, disabilities MORE (D-Texas) and Lance GoodenLance GoodenChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night GOP lawmakers call for new sanctions on senior Chinese officials Hillicon Valley: Uber lays off 3,000 | FBI unlocks Pensacola shooter’s phones | Lawmakers introduce bill restricting purchase of airline equipment from Chinese companies MORE (R-Texas) drafted a bill that would place Libra digital coin under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jurisdiction, which would subject the cryptocurrency to a rigorous regulatory framework.

Facebook gave over control of the project to a 21-member team tasked to oversee the cryptocurrency’s launch.


Now, the new Diem Network 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.