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Facebook’s David Marcus Steps Down from Coinbase Board to Avoid ‘Conflict of Interest’


Something big must be going on at Facebook. David Marcus, VP and current lead of Facebook’s blockchain research team, announced earlier today that he was stepping down from Coinbase’s board of directors.

Nearly three months to the day after Facebook announced the launch of its blockchain initiative, project lead and former head of Messenger, David Marcus, has announced that he is stepping down from Coinbase’ board of directors.

According to a statement provided to CoinDesk, Marcus explained that he was stepping down “because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain.”

Marcus was appointed to Coinbase’s board of directors in December 2017. Speaking about the appointment at the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong cited the former PayPal president’s expertise in the “payments and mobile space” as one of the primary reasons for the appointment, stating:

[David Marcus’] experience will add breadth and depth to the Coinbase board and will help the leadership team as the company focuses on becoming the most popular and safest place to buy and sell digital currencies.

The move has sparked much speculation among the crypto community, especially in light of a Coinbase spokesperson’s vague and somewhat cryptic comment that Marcus was stepping down to “avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

What is Facebook Up To?

That is the million dollar question. Whatever it is, Facebook is playing it pretty close to the vest. What we do know, however, is that Facebook’s blockchain team recently met with Stellar as part of its effort to explore the potential applications of blockchain technology for the social media giant.

Given that it already appears to be laying the groundwork for a foray into banking, it could be that Facebook plans to use blockchain technology to give traditional banking a run for their money by launching their own decentralized payments network.

According to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Stellar told the publication that “it would make sense for Facebook to record payment transactions on a distributed ledger like Stellar.” With other merchants connected to the ledger, the platform “could rival the Swift payments network that connects banks and allows for money transfers.”

CNBC Crypto Trader host and founder of Onchain Capital, Ran Neu-Ner has some additional theories as well:

Now it’s your turn – what do you think Facebook is up to? Will Coinbase somehow be a part of it or will Facebook become a competitor? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Flickr/Loic Le Meur


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