Facebook cryptocurrency chief David Marcus quits

abdelaziz Fathi

Meta’s cryptocurrency chief David Marcus is leaving the Facebook parent at the end of 2021, two years after he took over plans to launch a new coin and wallet.

Facebook

Back in 2020, the social-networking behemoth has set up a new unit called Facebook Financial, which is in charge of all payment projects, including its WhatsApp-based digital payment service.

David Marcus, who was recruited to head Facebook’s messaging service in 2014, and then was tapped to lead the charge into cryptocurrencies, has been appointed to head the new venture. Before that, Marcus was running a portfolio of important products that were expected to drive the company’s revenue in the future.

His departure comes after Facebook tried and failed to launch its own cryptocurrency that was supposed to be used to send money online to anyone in the world.

Facebook Financial runs its payment services

The lifelong entrepreneur continued to head up the subsidiary Novi (formerly Calibra), which manages a digital wallet for Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency Libra. Previously, David was president of PayPal from 2012 to 2014 and has more than 15 years of mobile and payments experience worldwide. He moved to Silicon Valley in 2008 where he founded the mobile payments company Zong.

Alongside Marcus, Facebook has also lured former Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel to join as a payments vice president. His decision to jump ship raised hope that Facebook was getting serious about a payments push. Kasriel is taking over the leadership of the team.

Kasriel had served at the freelance job site for over six years and became CEO in 2015. He led Upwork’s rebranding from its old identity, oDesk, and then managed the merger with rival site, Elance; and took the gig economy outfit public, in 2018.

The addition of these veterans came as Facebook continued its push to facilitate more payments on its major platforms, thus, allowing it to gather data on spending patterns so that it can compete with the likes of Venmo, Google Wallet and Apple Pay.

Called F2 internally, Facebook Financial runs Facebook Pay service that lets users send and receive money across the company’s family of apps. WhatsApp Pay, which allows users to make purchases or transfer money directly from the chat platform, also joins the financial unit’s portfolio.

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