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Spotify-backed crypto Libra rebrands before launch

The Facebook-led cryptocurrency project, which is also backed by investors in CAA, Sofar Sounds and other music businesses, is now known as Diem

By IQ on 03 Dec 2020

Diem Networks managing director James Emmett

Diem Networks managing director James Emmett


The Libra Association, the organisation overseeing the upcoming cryptocurrency of the same name, has rebranded as the Diem Association as part of its preparations for launch.

The digital currency, which is also being renamed diem (≋), was proposed by Facebook last summer and is also supported by several music-related businesses, most notably streaming service Spotify. Other backers include Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek, which has a stake in CAA, Union Square Ventures, which owns part of Sofar Sounds, and Andreessen Horowitz, an investor in song lyric site Genius and music distribution platform UnitedMasters, as well as Uber, Lyft, Shopify and Checkout.com.

Under the new banner, 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”, according to a statement from the organisation.

“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,” says Stuart Levey, CEO of the Diem Association. “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.”

In addition to its stated mission of facilitating low-fee payments around the world, particularly in emerging markets, it has been suggested that concert ticketing companies could take advantage of the the permissionless and open-source nature of Diem.

Alongside the rebrand, the association has made a number of in recent months, including Dahlia Malkhi as 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.

In addition, Diem Networks, the Diem Association subsidiary which serves as operator of the regulated payment system, has 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.

With the executive team in place, Diem is now prioritising reading for launch, which will follow regulatory approval from the the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), which with the association is in “active and productive dialogue”, says Levey. “The evolution of the project results from constructive ongoing engagement with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders,” he comments.

 


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