The leader of Facebook's stalled cryptocurrency project is leaving the company

The leader of Facebook’s stalled cryptocurrency project is leaving the company
© Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Facebook cryptocurrency chief David Marcus announced today that he’s leaving the company. The former PayPal executive joined Facebook in 2014 to run Messenger but eventually took over plans to launch a new cryptocurrency and wallet, known at the time as Libra and Calibra, respectively.

After some pre-Meta name changes, the digital wallet launched with a small pilot in October under the name Novi but only in two countries (the US and Guatemala) and support for a single form of crypto, the Paxos stablecoin. The currency that spurred so much ire from regulators and politicians around the world, now called Diem, has yet to appear.

In posts on his Facebook page and Twitter, Marcus says, “While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of hitting an important milestone with Novi launching — 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.” He announced that Novi VP of product Stephane Kasriel will take over leadership of the team.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the Facebook post, saying, “I’ve learned so much working with you and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for this place. We wouldn’t have taken such a big swing at Diem without your leadership and I’m grateful you’ve made Meta a place where we make those big bets. You’ve built a great team, and while I’ll miss working with you, I’m looking forward to working with Stephane to lead the team going forward.”

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. (2/7)

— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) November 30, 2021

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