Tech 13 August 2018

Gerald Fenech

David Marcus leaves Coinbase board to lead Facebook’s blockchain strategy

Coinbase received a jolt after David Marcus announced he’s stepping down from the San Francisco-based company’s board of directors. Marcus had been on the board of Coinbase since December 2017, and, with the company now valued at a staggering $8 billion, this development could prove to be slightly damaging for the cryptocurrency exchange giant.

Marcus stepped down from his role at Coinbase due to a new role which he has undertaken at Facebook. Marcus has been the vice president of the social media giant since 2014, and in April, was tapped to lead Facebook’s blockchain strategy.

Facebook has yet to publicize its plans for the blockchain field, although Business Insider recently reported that the company has already held talks with several crypto projects on how Facebook can leverage the technology. Stellar Lumens, the team behind the XLM cryptocurrency, was reportedly among the parties that Facebook talked to.

In a statement to CoinDesk, Marcus confirmed that he resigned from Coinbase “because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain.”

Meanwhile, a Coinbase representative said the executive’s decision was “made to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Marcus’s departure came less than a month after it was announced that Coinbase was exempted from Facebook’s blanket ban of cryptocurrency-related ads. In July, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted that the exchange’s ads would make their return on the social media platform, several weeks after Facebook announced that it would update its policy “to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers.”

With Marcus stepping down, Coinbase’s board of directors is now left with DFJ Venture Capital’s Barry Schuler, Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon and Katie Haun, Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson, IVP’s Tom Loverro, and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam. According to a Coinbase spokesperson, no efforts are underway to fill Marcus’s seat on the board.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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