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Facebook exec explains how the new Libra currency will help the company's core businesses

Key Points
  • If Facebook's new digital wallet Calibra is successful, the company could provide more financial services in the future, said Kevin Weil, vice president of Product at Calibra, in an interview with Stratechery.
  • The digital wallet will help Facebook's business by expanding opportunities for Facebook Marketplace, Instagram Checkout and advertisers, he said.
The Facebook logo is displayed during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

If Facebook's new digital wallet Calibra is successful, the company could provide more financial services in the future, said Kevin Weil, vice president of Product at Calibra.

"If we are successful at providing a wallet that allows people to store money securely and send to anyone anywhere in the world, then over time we think there will be an opportunity to provide more financial services for people — you can imagine things like credit," Weil said in an interview with Ben Thompson, an independent analyst who runs Stratechery.

Facebook said earlier this month that it will create Calibra, which will allow users to store and exchange the currency using Facebook apps. The announcement came alongside the launch of Libra, a new currency based on blockchain that Facebook is launching with a nonprofit association supported by a range of companies and organizations.

Weil said Calibra will also help expand Facebook's market because it will allow more people to shop through Facebook's apps through services like Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Checkout.

He added that it will also allow more businesses to reach customers using Facebook advertising. However, he said purchase data will not be used for ad targeting.

"There are a lot of businesses that would love to be able to reach customers nearby by using Facebook advertising, but because they operate primarily in cash, [they] have no real ability to pay for that," Weil said. "So it's also an expansion of Facebook's advertising platform over time because they'll be more businesses who are able to pay for advertising cheaply and easily."

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Facebook's Libra will give everyone an electronic wallet, says pro