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Facebook’s stalled cryptocurrency project leader leaves company

Facebook’s cryptocurrency chief David Marcus announced today that he is leaving the company. The former PayPal executive joined Facebook in 2014 to run Messenger, but eventually took over the plan to launch a new cryptocurrency and a new wallet, known at the time as Libra and Calibra, respectively.

After some pre-Meta name changes, the digital wallet launched with a small pilot in October under the name Novi but only in two countries (the US and Guatemala) and support for a single form. of crypto, the Paxos stablecoin. The currency that has sparked so much anger from regulators and politicians around the world, now called Diem, has yet to emerge.

In posts on his Facebook and Twitter page, Marcus says: “While there is still a lot to do right after taking a big step forward with the launch of Novi – and I am still just as passionate about the need to change our payments and our finances. systems – my entrepreneurial DNA has pushed me too many mornings in a row to continue ignoring it. He announced that Novi’s Vice President of Product, Stéphane Kasriel, a former PayPal employee and Upwork CEO, will take the lead.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the Facebook post, saying, “I have learned so much working with you and I am so grateful for everything you have done for this place. We wouldn’t have taken such a big swing at Diem without your leadership and I appreciate your making Meta a place where we make these big bets. You’ve built a great team, and while I will miss working with you, I look forward to working with Stéphane to lead the team in the future.

As recently as October, politicians openly called on Facebook to abandon its cryptocurrency plans. At this moment, Marcus said, “I want to be clear that our support for Diem has not changed and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live. We care about interoperability and we want to do it right.

It’s unclear what his departure means for the project as a whole, as well as how it fits into Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision for the future. His departure also comes a day after Jack Dorsey, another cryptocurrency supporter, resigned as CEO of Twitter. It seems unlikely that either will be finished anytime soon with the Web3 projects.