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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Facebook’s Novi Wallet: Everything You Need to Know

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Facebook has recently announced a rebranding of its Calibra digital wallet to Novi, and there appears to be a new vision to make sending money around the globe as easy as chatting or sending messages.

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Novi Financial is set to provide a new digital wallet that users can access when they need to send money on  Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, and also as in a stand-alone mobile application.

David Marcus was originally the Head of Facebook’s Calibra and the Libra Association, and he will also serve as the Head of Novi. Mr David discussed his vision for easy access to the unbanked and instant transfers of cash across the world.

Marcus is also a member of the Board of the Libra Association, which is a separate entity from Facebook and has its headquarter in Switzerland as a non-profit.

Since Calibra was originally designed to support a digital wallet for facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, Marcus states that the first product Novi Financial will launch is the Novi digital wallet specially created for Libra (a new payment system by Facebook which is built on the basis of innovative blockchain technology.

It has also been pointed out that the full name of this new subsidiary is Novi Financial, and it is described as operating independently of Facebook with its headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The name Novi is derived from the Latin words “novus” (which means new) and “via” (which means way). The vision presented by the Novi wallet is a compelling one as it captures the dream of many people in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry as it offers support to the unbanked.

Facebook's Novi Wallet

Marcus adds that there will be no hidden charges to send, add, receive, or withdraw money, and all transfers done using the wallet will arrive instantly.

The new way may also be inspired greatly by the regulatory pressures faced early on as well as the desire to recreate what we now know as money.

When the proposed launch of Libra was announced last year, Both Marcus and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was faced with enormous headwinds from The U.S. and international regulators alike.

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Both endured a series of Congressional Hearings last year on the proposed Facebook Libra, as well as numerous negative feedback from both the President of the United States and the Secretary of the Treasury on Libra.

Since these hearings, Libra has done well to repositioned its approach away from building a global currency that people in Congress feared may threaten the Dollar.

However, it is beginning to look like Zuckerberg may have the last laugh on this one, as the new positioning of Novi Financial is such that Facebook may become the world’s largest global retail bank, instead of a global stablecoin with its digital wallet well integrated among its quite large user base.

Brian Brooks is a former General Counsel at Coinbase and is currently the COO of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Brooks recently described how he pictures a Special Purpose National Bank Charter for online payment companies such as PayPal and Stripe.

Brooks will soon become the Acting Comptroller, and with his new position, he may be allowed to move his payments charter idea forward.

Also, facebook’s announcement appears to be well-timed to apply for this kind of charter, where it may enjoy a federal charter for payments across all the 50 states for Novi digital wallets, which is a much stronger regulatory position for Facebook and Novi Financial, than going state by state, seeking approvals to engage in monetary transactions.

Facebook has pivoted in a manner that is quite calculated and brilliant.

When Libra eventually launches, there will be countless stablecoins — each of these stable coins will be backed by a singular fiat currency, such as EUR, USD, GBP, or SGD.

People who use Novi, as well as people who use other Libra-enabled wallets, will also find it easy to send and receive LibraEUR, LibraUSD, LibraGBP, or LibraSGD.

Novi will also function as a ramp to convert physical money into cryptocurrency and cash out your cryptos to traditional fiat currencies.

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Novi has made known its plans to launch its wallet as soon as the Libra network goes live. At the onset, only a limited set of countries will have access to the service.

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