Facebook's Head Of Cryptocurrency Project Set To Leave

Twitter icon   • 2 minute read  •  Published 1 month ago  •  Mark Weaden

Facebook's new head of cryptocurrency project looks to be leaving the company so soon after the Metaverse announcement

Facebook's new head of cryptocurrency project looks to be leaving the company so soon after the Metaverse announcement

Facebook has been in the headlines a lot recently, with the announcement of the Metaverse and intentions to develop a native cryptocurrency for Facebook platforms. Amongst the hype, Facebook’s leader of cryptocurrency development David Marcus has announced that he is leaving the company.

The former PayPay executive, who oversaw the development of Bitcoin payments on the platform earlier this year. Not a good start for Zuckerberg’s project, especially losing such a valuable member of the team. 

Why did David Marcus leave?

Facebook has never been too far away from controversy. But, losing a valuable member of the team such as Marcus is a big loss, who took over plans to launch a new cryptocurrency and wallet. The project was fairly unsuccessful, but the times have changed. The Metaverse will no doubt have its own cryptocurrency, so it's an odd time to leave. 

The digital wallet launched a small pilot in October under the name Novi, available in the US and Guatemala and supported by the Paxos stablecoin. With the loss of Marcus, it’s difficult to know if the project will remain on the same trajectory, or whether new management may change things. 

Marcus took to his Facebook and Twitter page to state his position and reason for leaving the Novi project “While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of hitting an important milestone with Novi launching — and I remain as passionate as ever about the need for change in our payments and financial systems — my entrepreneurial DNA has been nudging me for too many mornings in a row to continue ignoring it.” 

Based on Marcus’s words, it does look like things will keep moving in the same direction. Novi VP of product Stephane Kasriel, who also worked at PayPal with Marcus, looks to be the one to take over the leadership of the team.

How did Facebook respond?

Mark Zuckerberg also took to Facebook to post about Marcus’s departure, “I’ve learned so much working with you and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for this place. We wouldn’t have taken such a big swing at Diem without your leadership and I’m grateful you’ve made Meta a place where we make those big bets. You’ve built a great team, and while I’ll miss working with you, I’m looking forward to working with Stephane to lead the team going forward.”

Facebook has been under the cosh recently, notably the plans for cryptocurrency development that the government openly called for the company to drop. Zuckerberg’s public post isn’t likely to reflect the true feelings of the company, meaning it’s unclear how things will go in terms of fulfilling the vision of the metaverse. 


Mark Weaden

Mark Weaden is a British researcher and crypto enthusiast, living in Barcelona. His work has been published on a variety of leading cryptocurrency sites.

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