Libra No More: Digital Currency Initiative Libra Association Changes Name to Diem

The Libra Association, the initiative launched by Facebook to create a global digital currency, has changed its name to Diem, according to a note from the group.

Recently, there have been multiple reports that the Diem Association is gearing up to launch its digital currency. Diem says that now it has its executive leadership in place, it is nearing regulatory approval for launch. Diem is based in Switzerland and its proposal is being reviewed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Expectations are the crypto will be approved following some adjustments to the digital project. While discussions are ongoing, Diem says it is in “productive dialogue” with FINMA.

It has been recently reported that Diem/Libra would be focusing on a stablecoin instead of a basket of assets that was originally announced. The first fiat currency that is expected to offer a stablecoin backed 1 to 1 with the US dollar. More stablecoins based on other fiat currency will follow later.

After almost a year of working with regulators, central bankers, elected officials, and others around the world to determine the best way to marry blockchain technology with accepted regulatory frameworks, Diem released an updated white paper and announced changes to its initial approach – not a global currency, but a global payment system and financial infrastructure. Four key changes to address regulatory concerns were detailed in the updated white paper:

  • Offering single-currency stablecoins.
  • Enhancing the safety of the payment system with a robust compliance framework.
  • Forgoing the future transition to a permissionless system while maintaining its key economic properties.
  • Building strong consumer protections into the design of the project.

The Diem Association says it will continue to pursue a mission of “building a safe, secure and compliant payment system that empowers people and businesses around the world.”

Diem has been focused on ensuring that the project is designed to meet regulatory expectations, consistent with the Association’s guiding principles of innovation, inclusion, and integrity.

“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,” commented Stuart Levey, the Diem Association’s CEO. “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 Association and Diem Networks, the subsidiary that is the regulated payment system operator, has enlisted a group of high profile executives – many with government experience. This includes the appointment of Dahlia Malkhi as the Association’s Chief Technology Officer, Christy Clark as Chief of Staff, Steve Bunnell as Chief Legal Officer, and Kiran Raj as Executive Vice President for Growth and Innovation and Deputy General Counsel.

Diem Networks recently announced the appointment of James Emmett as Managing Director, Sterling Daines, as Chief Compliance Officer, Ian Jenkins as Chief Financial and Risk Officer and Saumya Bhavsar as General Counsel.

Levey says the hires are a group of stellar executives.

“The evolution of the project results from constructive ongoing engagement with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders,” said Levey.

Diem believes there is a growing consensus around the world on the need to modernize financial infrastructure and regulatory frameworks to meet changing consumer demands and keep pace with global innovation in digital payments.


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