News Facebook’s Libra Rebrands to Diem

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The Libra Association announced this morning that it has a new name — the Diem Association — and made some key hires ahead of its launch. The new name is an attempt to distance the group from Facebook, and from its earlier controversies, according to statement of Stuart Levey, Diem Association CEO. “We are excited to introduce Diem – a new name that signals the project’s growing maturity and independence,” he said. The new name uses the Latin for day. The Association’s press release upon the announcement alludes obliquely to the need to change the narrative on the project: “Now transitioning to the name ‘Diem’, which denotes a new day for the project, the Diem Association will continue to pursue a mission of building a safe, secure and compliant payment system that empowers people and businesses around the world.”

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Authorities of Baoshan’s city in Yunnan province in China have ordered to local electricity producers to cut power to the crypto miners. Several miners had informed about the issue local crypto journalist Colin Wu, sharing scanned copies of official order given to power producers. China has been cracking down on crypto businesses as the central bank prepares to launch the digital yen. However Colin Wu belives the ban is probably local initiative and does not indicate crackdown to crypto mining on the part of central authorities. “There is no need to overestimate the impact of this incident. It is more because of the demand for economic interests than political pressure,” Colin Wu twitted. Yunnan is the third largest mining place in China after Sichuan and Xinjiang. The province represented 5.42% of the global hash rate — ranking it above all countries except for China, the United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

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Swiss National Bank Tests Using of Digital Currency in Large Transactions
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has successfully completed trials of using digital money to carry on wholesale transactions between financial institutions, according to thr Reuters recent report. Issue of SNB’s own digital currency remains an open question. The trial, dubbed Project Helvetia, was run by the SNB with the involvement of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and Swiss bourse operator SIX. Despite the successful Project Helvetia’s outcome, the Swiss National Bank has been skeptical about digital currencies like Facebook’s Diem, claiming such projects could undermine bank ability to conduct monetary policy. “The project showed wholesale CBDCs were feasible from a technical and legal viewpoint. However, the outcome did not mean the central bank was committed to issuing one,” the SNB’s governing board member Andrea Maechler said. Central banks worldwide have been ramping up research into CBDCs after Facebook has unveiled plans for Libra. The Swiss central bank was one of the seven central banks to lay out how a CBDC could look.

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