After being put together by Facebook last year, the Libra Association is rebranding with a new name as the group looks to distance itself from the social media giant's original vision for a new digital cryptocurrency.
The group, which is made up of 27 member firms, announced that it will transition to its new name Diem (Latin for day) as it prepares to launch a single, dollar-pegged stablecoin in 2021.
Facebook first unveiled Libra back in June of 2019 and at the time, the project envisioned a stablecoin backed by a basket of fiat currencies that could be used worldwide. However, this prompted backlash from regulators and lawmakers which lead to a number of the Libra Association's original members such as Mastercard and Visa pulling support for the project.
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The Diem Association's CEO Stuart Levey explained in a press release how the rebrand denotes a new day for the project, saying:
“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 committed to doing so in a way that promotes financial inclusion – expanding access to those who need it most, and simultaneously protecting the integrity of the financial system by deterring and detecting illicit conduct. We are excited to introduce Diem – a new name that signals the project’s growing maturity and independence.”
The Diem Association is now preparing to launch its first stablecoin, the “Diem dollar”, as soon as the new entity is licensed through the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). However, Levey has not provided an exact timeframe for the launch as FINMA will make its decision in its own time.
The group originally planned to launch its cryptocurrency during the first half of 2020 but regulatory hurdles made this impossible at the time.
When Diem dollar does launch next year, it will be compliant with international regulations at the protocol level according to Levey. The new cryptocurrency will comply with regulations such as the Financial Action Task Force's “travel rule” and will also offer consumer protection.
At the moment, the Diem Association still sees international remittances and merchant payments as the two primary use cases for Diem dollar.
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