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Facebook Says Libra Could Lead To Credit, Financial Services

Libra could be just the beginning for Facebook.

“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,” said Kevin Weil, vice president of product at Calibra, according to CNBC.

Along with announcing its planned cryptocurrency, Libra, the social media giant revealed that it will create Calibra so users can store and exchange the currency using Facebook apps. Weil said Calibra will also allow more people to shop through Facebook’s apps via services, including Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Checkout, as well as enable more businesses to reach customers using Facebook advertising. Weil pointed out, however, that 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,” he said. “So, it’s also an expansion of Facebook’s advertising platform over time because [there’ll] be more businesses [that] are able to pay for advertising cheaply and easily.”

However, launching Libra might not be easy for the company. Financial regulators in several countries have expressed their concerns about the crypto, with the international Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently joining the Bank of England (BoE) and the G7 in speaking out about the need to thoroughly vet Facebook’s plans to release Libra next year.

As for the U.S., the Federal Reserve stated that it will be holding Libra to high standards when it comes to consumer protection and regulation.

“Libra’s a new thing; we are looking at it very carefully,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday (June 26). “Given the possible scale of it, I think that our expectations — from a consumer protection standpoint, from a regulatory standpoint — are going to be very, very high.”

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