In what could be seen as a sign that Facebook’s efforts in the blockchain market are moving ahead, David Marcus, the head of the project, is leaving the board of Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange.
According to a report in Business Insider citing Coinbase, the Facebook executive, who has been on the board since December of 2017, is stepping down so that there aren’t any conflicts of interest. The spokesperson from CoinBase did not provide further elaboration, noted Business Insider. “Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign from the Coinbase board,” Marcus said in a statement provided to Business Insider by a Facebook representative. Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Business Insider reported Coinbase Chief Executive Brian Armstrong thanked Marcus, saying he provided “valuable perspective and mentorship.”
The move on the part of Marcus comes as Business Insider is reporting Facebook has held meetings with Stellar, a cryptocurrency payment startup. It could be a sign that Facebook is gearing up to open its own payment network. With Marcus among high profile executives heading up Facebook’s blockchain group, speculation has abounded as to how it will enter the market. According to Business Insider, the blockchain team includes Kevin Weil, the former head of product for Instagram; James Everingham, Instagram’s former head of engineering; and Evan Cheng, one of Facebook’s senior engineers. Before taking the latest position, Cheng led programming languages and runtimes at the tech firm. And, prior to arriving at Facebook, Cheng worked at Apple for 10 years. His most recent position at that tech firm was a senior manager. While at Apple, Cheng also worked in areas such as compilation, as well as back-end engineering. But Cheng has tweeted about blockchain topics. In addition, reports say that he serves as an advisor to startups and projects in the blockchain space such as ChainLink and Zilliqa.