Facebook’s chief cryptocurrency officer David Marcus announced today his resignation. The former PayPal executive joined Facebook in 2014 to run Messenger but eventually took over plans to launch a new cryptocurrency and wallet, known at the time as Libra and Calibra, respectively.
After some pre-Meta name modifications , the digital wallet was launched in October with a pilot, but only in the US and Guatemala. It also supports a single type of crypto, the Paxos stabilitycoin. Diem, the currency that drew so much criticism from regulators and politicians all over the globe, is still not available.
In posts on Facebook and Twitter, Marcus said, “While there is still so much work to be done on the heels Novi’s launching — and while I remain passionate about the need to change our financial system — my entrepreneurial DNA had been pushing me for too many mornings to ignore it. He also announced that Novi’s VP of Product Stephane Kasriel will assume the leadership of the team.
While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of launching Novi — 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. (2/7)
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) November 30, 2021
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the Facebook post, saying, “I’ve learned so much working with you and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for this place. Without your leadership, we wouldn’t have taken such an enormous swing at Diem. I’m thankful that Meta has become a place where we can make big bets. Your team is great, and although I will miss you, I look forward to working with Stephane as the leader of the team .”
As recently as October, politicians were openly calling for Facebook to drop its cryptocurrency plans. At that time, Marcus said, “I do want to be clear that our support for Diem hasn’t changed and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live. We care about interoperability. We want it to be done right.
What his departure means for the project overall is unclear, as well as how it fits in with Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision for the future. His departure also comes one day after fellow cryptocurrency proponent Jack Dorsey stepped down from his position as the CEO of Twitter. It is unlikely either of them will leave Web3 projects anytime soon.