Facebook parent Meta’s cryptocurrency head David Marcus has announced that he will be leaving the company at the end of the year.
Marcus’s departure comes after the company tried and failed to launch a cryptocurrency that could be used to send money online to anyone in the world via Facebook products, CNBC reported.
Marcus joined Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, in August 2014 after a two-year stint as president of PayPal.
Marcus’s initial role at Facebook was as vice president in charge of the company’s Messenger service. He left the Messenger division to launch Facebook’s financial projects unit in May 2018.
That division announced the company’s Libra blockchain currency and the Calibra digital wallet in June 2019, saying that the hope was for both projects to go live in 2020, the report said.
Neither project saw the light of day in 2020 after Facebook faced a stiff backlash against its cryptocurrency ambitions from lawmakers and regulators worldwide, it added.
The company finally released its digital wallet product, renamed Novi, in October. But the digital currency, which is now named Diem and is run by an independent association, remains unreleased to the public.
“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 said in a tweet thread announcing his departure.
Marcus’s departure follows that of other key executives who led Facebook’s ill-fated efforts in the blockchain.
Fellow project founder Morgan Beller left the company in September 2020 to go into venture capital.
Kevin Weil, another one of the project founders, left in March to join Planet, a San Francisco company with a fleet of satellites that take photos of the earth once every day, providing users with imagery that demonstrates how the earth changes.