David Marcus, the man behind Facebook’s (now Meta’s) Novi wallet project, has announced his departure from the business at the end of the year. Marcus has worked with Meta for seven years, starting as the VP of communications products in 2014 and eventually co-founding the Diem cryptocurrency and taking over Novi (formerly Calibra) in 2018.
Marcus had previously worked in executive capacities at PayPal and had managed the growth of multiple businesses, including Echovox and Zong. Stephane Kasriel, Novi’s current VP of product, has been elevated to the position of CEO.
“While there’s still so much to do right after launching Novi — and I’m as enthusiastic as ever about the need for reform in our payments and banking institutions,” Marcus wrote in a tweet, “my entrepreneurial DNA has been nagging me for too many mornings in a row to continue ignoring it.”
“We wouldn’t have taken such a huge swing at Diem without your leadership,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “and I’m grateful you’ve created Meta a place where we make such large bets.”
Marcus came to Facebook from PayPal in 2014, where he ran the social media company’s Messenger chat program before moving on to the finance division.
Following fears from regulators that the service may have too much power over the money system, enabling crime and harming users’ privacy, Facebook, which rebranded as Meta last month, cut back worldwide deployment plans for Diem.
The project’s purpose, originally known as Libra, is now to produce a stable currency termed Diem that is tied to the US dollar in order to eliminate the volatility that makes other cryptocurrencies difficult to use.
Novi, which allows transfers of the stable coin Pax Dollar, is already being tested by Facebook in Guatemala and the United States. However, some US politicians are concerned, claiming that Facebook cannot be trusted to control Bitcoin and urging the firm to end the test immediately.
Meanwhile, Meta has been working hard to build a metaverse environment in which individuals can interact with virtual and augmented reality, and this is an area where the Diem digital currency might be useful for payments.
Coincidentally, another prominent Bitcoin supporter, Jack Dorsey, just announced the end of his second term as Twitter CEO. He’ll be able to focus more on his work as CEO of Square, which is pushing many new cryptocurrency initiatives, as a result of the change.