Fb rebrands cryptocurrency pockets ‘Calibra’ to ‘Novi’

Facebook announced on Tuesday morning it has renamed a key component of its ambitious cryptocurrency project known as Libra. Henceforth, the company’s digital wallet, which it hopes to launch late this year, will be known as “Novi” rather “Calibra.”

David Marcus, a former President of PayPal who now heads up Libra, stated in a Facebook post that “the old name was a little too close to the name of the Libra.”

The wallet service in question is a critical part of Facebook’s plan to create a new global payment service based around blockchain technology. While the Libra network is being developed in such a way that anyone can build a compatible wallet, the Calibra/Novi wallet will be the default offering—meaning that it will be the one likely embraced by Facebook’s billions of users.

Facebook announced the Libra network last June with hopes of launching its cryptocurrency in 2019, but the project soon became mired in political and regulatory controversy, leading a number of high profile partners—including Visa, Stripe and PayPal—to cut ties.

More recently, Libra has regained some momentum, adding e-commerce giant Shopify to its list of partners. Facebook appears also to have partially placated regulators by changing Libra from a single global currency to a series of national cryptocurrencies. It has also stepped back from its initial plan to turn Libra into a decentralized network akin to Bitcoin, and instead pledged to make it more tightly controlled.

The move to rebrand Calibra also follows complaints in 2019 by a banking startup called Current, which pointed to notable similarities in the logos of the two brands. In the case of Novi, which Marcus says is a portmanteau of the Latin words “novus” (new) and “via” (way), its logo is clearly distinct from both Current and Calibra:

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In response to a query from Fortune, a Facebook spokesperson did not address whether the name change was informed by trademark issues. Instead, the spokesperson said the new name was intended to avoid confusion between Calibra and Libra.

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