Facebook’s Blockchain Lead Leaves Board Of Crypto Exchange Coinbase

Announcements, Blockchain, News | August 13, 2018 By:

David Marcus, executive in charge of blockchain research at Facebook, is stepping down from the board of directors at crypto exchange Coinbase in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Marcus, who has worked at Facebook since August 2014, joined Coinbase’s board in December 2017. At the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that Marcus would apply his expertise in the “payments and mobile space” to guide the exchange in its overall mission.

In May of this year, Facebook launched a blockchain team to explore possible applications for the technology and named Marcus as the blockchain research lead. Marcus said at the time that the team will be exploring how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.

In a statement last week, Marcus said that because of Facebook’s new blockchain team it was appropriate for him to resign from the Coinbase board.

“Getting to know Brian, who’s become a friend, and the whole Coinbase leadership team and board has been an immense privilege,” Marcus said. “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.”

A Coinbase representative said that Marcus’ decision to resign “was made to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest,” but declined to elaborate.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong thanked Marcus for his service in a separate statement. He said Marcus has “been a wonderful addition to the Coinbase board, providing valuable insight and mentorship.

“He remains a close friend of the company, and we thank him for his help along the start of our journey to create an open financial system for the world,” said Armstrong.

Marcus’ departure follows a report from Business Insider, citing unnamed sources, that the social media giant has entered talks with blockchain startup Stellar to discuss a potential fork from the main Stellar network. The publication included a quote from a supposed Stellar source who claimed that it would be beneficial for Facebook to record payments transactions onto a distributed ledger like Stellar.

A Facebook spokesperson, however, rebuffed the rumors, saying that they are not engaged in any discussions with Stellar, and they are not considering building on their technology.