A representative for Novi said that the primary reason for the name change was to avoid the confusion with the Libra cryptocurrency:
“When we announced Libra and Calibra last June, we wanted to demonstrate that Calibra, the digital wallet, was closely linked to Libra, the global payment system. Both brands were born out of the same vision, to give people more access to the global economy. However, we’ve found that Calibra and Libra sounded too similar and people were getting confused, so we set out to create distinction between the two.”
What's in a name? We changed ours to Novi, but our mission remains: creating a #WorldWideWallet that will make money work better for everyone around the world. Check out what we're up to https://t.co/cijCPqVXPs pic.twitter.com/J80nXvjQtN — Novi (@novi) May 26, 2020
The new name, comes from the Latin words “novus” for “new” and “via” for “way”.
Novi comes from the combination of two Latin words, novus = new, and via = way. Novi will offer a new way to send, receive, and secure Libra currencies. Since Novi is designed for the Libra network, there’s a nod to Libra in our logo. 2/3 — David Marcus (@davidmarcus) May 26, 2020
It intends to signal that the Facebook-developed product won’t be the only wallet available on the Libra blockchain. “We hope that Novi will be one of many wallets,” the spokesperson said.
The representative says on the launch dates:
“Our hope is to introduce an early version of Novi when the Libra network is available and we have secured all the licenses or approvals necessary to offer the services.”
We can’t wait to start rolling out the Novi wallet as soon as Libra mainnet goes live. In the meantime, here’s a little video (play with sound — I love that tune!) 3/3 pic.twitter.com/Fbrxhxpg5d — David Marcus (@davidmarcus) May 26, 2020
According to the official press release, Novi will be released as a standalone app as well as be integrated into Messenger and WhatsApp.
All customers will be asked for a government-issued ID, while “fraud protections will be built in throughout the app”. The move seems to stress the company’s compliance in light of the regulatory scrutiny surrounding Facebook’s cryptocurrency project.
Although the wallet’s new design is supposed to “represent the fluid movement of digital currencies,” it does not currently plan to cater to any cryptocurrencies other than the Libra Coins.
These are represented by single-currency stablecoins like LibraUSD, LibraEUR and Libra GBP. There is also a multi-currency coin called LBR.