Facebook’s new Blockchain Research head, Mr. David Marcus has stepped down from the board of directors at crypto currency exchange Coinbase. According to a report, Marcus said his decision to resign was “because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around Blockchain.” His departure comes after Facebook exempted Coinbase from its recent ban on cryptocurrency-related ads. Besides creating a new Blockchain group, Facebook is also exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency.
According to tech website Cheddar, Facebook is “very serious about it”. Recode had first reported that Facebook was building a new team dedicated to Blockchain technology. The Blockchain team would come under “New platforms and infra” run by the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer. The chief technology officer will be taking care of Facebook’s AR, VR and Artificial Intelligence initiatives.
Marcus had joined Coinbase’s board in the year 2017. His decision to resign “was made to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest,” a Coinbase representative. The representative did not elaborate further and a Coinbase representative did not respond to Business Insider’s request for further detailed information.
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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong thanked Marcus for his service in a separate statement. “David Marcus has been a wonderful addition to the Coinbase board, providing valuable perspective and mentorship,” Armstrong said in the statement. Marcus’ move follows a that Facebook has met with the cryptocurrency payment technology startup Stellar. That move may indicate its plans to set up its own payments network.Facebook’s blockchain team was first announced at the company’s F8 conference in May 2018.
Marcus, a high-profile executive who previously led the company’s Messenger team and, prior to that, had served as president of payments firm PayPal, was appointed to lead the project.
Marcus is one of several heavy hitters Facebook has assigned to the effort, which some observers have interpreted as an indication of just how serious the Silicon Valley giant is about it. In addition to Marcus, the blockchain team includes Kevin Weil, the former head of product for Instagram; James Everingham, Instagram’s former head of engineering; and Evan Cheng, one of Facebook’s veteran senior engineers. Beyond the appointments, Facebook has said little about its blockchain project.