Facebook Boss in Charge of Cryptocurrency is Leaving
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Facebook Boss in Charge of Cryptocurrency is Leaving

2m
11 months ago

Meta was known as Facebook back then, while the Diem digital currency had initially been referred to as Libra. And as for the Novi digital wallet, that had previously been called Calibra.

Facebook Boss in Charge of Cryptocurrency is Leaving

Índice

David Marcus has announced he is leaving Meta — the company previously known as Facebook.

The executive had played an instrumental role in building Novi, the tech giant's digital wallet.

Marcus also helped to co-found Diem, a digital currency that's designed to reduce remittance costs for those trying to send funds across borders.

Diem has faced a staunch pushback since it was proposed in 2019. Politicians claimed the social network was unfit to be involved in such an ambitious project, and expressed fears it could undermine the dollar and cause financial instability.

Announcing his departure on, er, Twitter, Marcus said it was a "difficult decision" to step back, adding:

"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."

Marcus added that Stephane Kasriel — who had been serving as Novi's VP of product — will be his successor.

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Big Changes

A lot has changed in the past two years.

Meta was known as Facebook back then, while the Diem digital currency had initially been referred to as Libra. And as for the Novi digital wallet, that had previously been called Calibra.

Facebook's rebrand to Meta is a direct nod to Mark Zuckerberg's determination to shift the tech giant's focus to the metaverse — with the tech giant inspiring a number of other big firms to follow suit. It's also served as rocket fuel for blockchain-based metaverse projects such as Decentraland and The Sandbox — with their respective tokens surging dramatically over the past month.

The decision to rechristen Libra and Calibra may have been driven by a desire to create some distance from Facebook.

Indeed, back in the middle of October, a number of U.S. politicians had attacked Diem's partnership with Coinbase, writing:

"Time and again, Facebook has made conscious business decisions to continue with actions that have harmed its users and the broader society. Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risks and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient."

This prompted Diem to insist that it is completely independent — with the organization pointing out that the tech giant is just one of more than two dozen members.

Tellingly, the trials of the Novi wallet that are currently taking place in Guatemala and large swaths of the U.S. rely on a stablecoin issued by Paxos… and not Diem's currency.

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