David Marcus Leaves Coinbase, Joins Facebook Blockchain Research Team

David Marcus Steps Down from Coinbase, to Focus on Blockchain at Facebook

David Marcus has been a vice president with Facebook for the last four years, which let him to being on the board of directors with Coinbase in December 2017. He worked alongside CEO Brian Armstrong at the time, who had planned on using Marcus’s impressive experience in the “payments and mobile space,” hoping it would help Coinbase reach their mission.

Within five months of being appointed, the new role earned Marcus a position as Facebook’s blockchain research lead. As beneficial as this is for Marcus’s professional life, it seems that continuing his role with Coinbase is an impossibility, as he decided to step down. He credited the relinquishment of the positive was due to his new assignment for Facebook, referencing the work he will be doing for blockchain strategy.

Right now, very little details are provided about what work he will do, but his team that he will oversee is small. Some enthusiasts may recall his former comments about Facebook’s potential to embrace blockchain technology, considering the possibility of using cryptocurrency payments through the messenger.

He released a statement to CoinDesk on August 10th, which further confirmed the decision to move away from Coinbase. His statement cited the “new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain” as the reason for leaving. He also said:

“Getting to know Brian, who's become a friend, and the whole Coinbase leadership team and board has been an immense privilege. I've been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”

According to a spokesperson for Coinbase, the reason was mainly based on a conflict of interest.

The timing for this decision seems a little coincidental, considering that it coincides with the exemption of Coinbase from their ban on crypto advertisements, a decision that was only made a month ago. The ban against cryptocurrency advertisements is still in place, so it is interesting that there has been no announcement regarding a reason for Coinbase getting this special treatment. As a result of the change, they are now able to post their advertisements on both Facebook and Instagram, due to the fact that Facebook owns Instagram.

Right now, there is not any information about potential plans to fill the void that Marcus has left behind on the directors’ board. Right now, the directors that remain are:

  • Barry Schuler of DFJ Venture Capital
  • Chris Dixon and Katie Haun, of Andreessen Horowitz
  • Fred Wilson, of Union Square Ventures
  • Tom Loverro, of IVP
  • Fred Ehrsam, the founder of Coinbase

Despite the changes, it seems that Armstrong has absolutely no hard feelings towards Marcus, saying that he has “been a wonderful addition to the Coinbase board, providing valuable insight and mentorship.” He also noted that he continues to be a “close friend” of their endeavor, expressing his gratitude for the way that Marcus gave them at their start, helping them “to create an open financial system for the world.”

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