According to Facebook, Calibra is “A New Digital Wallet for a New Digital Currency.”
Calibra’s… goal is to… let people access and participate in… Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020.
From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost. And, in time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses…”
Also, it’s a handy way for Facebook to get a slice of the ≥ $30bn annual in fees from credit card processing.
Credit cards charge about .25% of every transaction to the merchant. So if I buy $100 of Nikes off of a Facebook ad, American Express keeps $2.50. Nike pays that fee. With Calibra, Facebook can keep that $2.50 – or Facebook could reduce their margins to, say, .1%, making every single retailer on Earth, by default cheaper on Facebook and/or Instagram. That sounds like a move against Amazon to me.