Calibra was launched in June 2019 along with Libra, the cryptomoney supported by Facebook and other partners. While the latter is the crypto currency itself, Calibra is the digital wallet and Facebook’s exclusive platform for operating the crypto currency. Now, almost a year after its introduction and not yet launched, it has been renamed to Novi.
As announced by the Facebook affiliate, Calibra changes its name and brand to Novi. Novi is an acronym for the Latin words ‘novus’ and ‘vía’, referring to a “new way” to use money. This, of course, when it goes live, since at the moment neither Libra as a crypto-currency nor Novi as a portfolio are available. In addition to the name change, the design has been slightly modified to represent “the fluid movement of digital coins”, hence the retention of the Libra wave symbol.
Novi has let us see some extra details of how the application will work. The service will have its own application from which to manage the entire portfolio of the Libra crypto-currency. But apart from this, it will also be integrated into Facebook’s own instant messaging applications. In other words, it will be integrated into Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
The transactions made with Novi will arrive instantly as explained by the brand, and there will be no “hidden charges” for this. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t see some kind of fee for standard transactions. In either case, it appears that we will be able to associate our Novi portfolio with the WhatsApp account to quickly send payments to the contacts we have.
In order to use Novi you will be required to verify your identity with a government ID. This verification will be required and will be officially launched first for users. Novi says that it will first reach a limited number of countries, but it has not specified which ones. Nor has it specified what the launch date will be, which is directly conditioned by the launch of Libra.
The launch of Libra by Facebook and its partners is not being easy. Novi warns in the official statement that “we have not changed our long-term commitment to help people around the world access affordable financial services”. Almost a year after its launch, it has yet to resolve the problems and concerns it raises with regulators in the various countries where it seeks to operate.
Libra was introduced by great partners for Facebook such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Coinbase, Spotify, eBay or Uber. As soon as the United States or the European Union opened investigations on the subject, some of these partners have jumped ship. In the last weeks the crypto currency made a radical change in its structure to be more a service similar to PayPal than to a crypto currency like Bitcoin. We’ll see if this drives it to the market sooner.