Yesterday, Facebook announced the launch of a cryptocurrency called Libra. And astrology enthusiasts wondered, what’s with the name? The cryptocurrency shares a name with the seventh astrological sign in the zodiac. Represented by the scales, Libra is associated with a sense of justice, balance, and peace. Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of cryptocurrency.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook didn’t choose the name because of its astrological associations — or because more billionaires are Libras than any other sign. Instead, the name comes from the Roman unit of weight. It’s also an attempt to evoke a sense of freedom by using the French-derived “lib,” meaning free.
However, the similarity isn’t exactly a coincidence. According to Mental Floss, the primary meaning of the Latin word libra was “balance” or “scales,” and this is where the astrological sign gets its name. But the word libra was also a shorter form of the Roman unit of measure libra pondo, meaning “a pound by weight.” Libra pondo is also where the British pound and the Italian lira got their names, and it’s also why we abbreviate pounds as “lb.”
So maybe Libra isn’t that weird of a name for cryptocurrency — except for the fact that almost everyone has heard of the zodiac sign Libra, and very few people know of this Roman unit of measure.
“Most people, when they think of Libra are going to think of astrology, they’re not going to think of this more antiquated definition of it,” Aliza Kelly, astrologer, author, and host of the podcast Stars Like Us, tells Refinery29. “I get that they share an etymological root, but a lot of Facebook users are going to associate Libra with the zodiac sign.”
She adds, “I also can’t help but think that Facebook is identifying astrology’s huge resurgence in popular culture right now, and is aware of that in the choice of the name. I think we will continue to see a lot of big businesses, large corporations, IPO companies tap into the astrological language and iconography because it’s something that is a shared vocabulary, and it’s a vocabulary that people are really leaning on right now for guidance and trust and support.”
Kelly says that Libra isn’t the most obvious astrological choice for a cryptocurrency — nor is Gemini, the name of another cryptocurrency company. “I associate Libra more with the justice system, the legal system, contracts and courts and judges than I do with finances," she says. "If we were going with a more strictly finance association, we would look to Taurus. Taurus is the symbol of the bull, which is the symbol of Wall Street, and Taurus has a deep relationship with money and finances. Or if we wanted to tap into innovation, we would look to Aquarius, which is associated with technology and progress and futurism.” She adds that the symbol Facebook is using for Libra is more similar to the Aquarius symbol than the Libra symbol.
Paradoxically, Taurus may have influenced the creation of Libra, the cryptocurrency. “The tea here is that Uranus moved into Taurus earlier this year. Uranus is the planet that’s associated with innovation and breakthroughs and shocking things, and it moved into Taurus, which happens to be Mark Zuckerburg’s sign,” Kelly says. “My suspicion is we’re going to see a lot of change across his properties through 2026, through the transit of Uranus through Taurus, because it’s going to be personally affecting him in those ways.”
There may be more widespread implications, too. She adds, “Uranus in Taurus is going to be changing our relationship with money and the economy at large. The last time Uranus was in Taurus is when we got rid of the gold standard [the monetary system in which the value of currency is directly linked to the value of gold; the United States abandoned this practice in 1933] so it would make sense that cryptocurrency would emerge as something that has a greater significance during this transit.”
Abigail Diaz, who runs the Instagram astrology meme account @thatonelibrabitch, points out another association with Libra that Facebook may not have considered. “I know Libra was a measure of currency back in Roman times, but in addition to that, as someone with knowledge of astrology, it seems to fit Facebook and Instagram’s background in influencers and aesthetics considering Libra is largely focused on beauty and popularity,” she says. “Symbolically, it’s an interesting choice.”