David Marcus, Vice President at Facebook, is stepping down from Coinbase Inc.’s board of directors, a sign that the social media giant could be pursuing its own blockchain agenda.
Marcus quit on Friday, 10 August, citing that, he oversees a similar group on Facebook that focuses on exploring potential blockchain uses. “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,” he said in a statement.
Not long ago, Facebook announced David Marcus, as the head of its newly formed Blockchain division with a mandate to leverage blockchain across Facebook starting from scratch.
Although, Facebook has not disclosed exactly how it intends to harness blockchain technology, the internet giant seems to be assembling a team of blockchain experts under the leadership of Marcus.
A report on Business Insider indicates that Facebook has been in contact with “a number of crypto projects” like Stellar on how it can leverage blockchain technology. According to the report, Facebook’s collaboration with Stellar creates the impression that the social media company will issue its own cryptocurrency. If that happens, David Marcus’ seat at Coinbase board of directors could be perceived as a conflict of interest.
According to Lucas Nuzzi, director of technology research at Digital Asset Research, Marcus could use his position to influence the exchange to list the Facebook token. A more recent report by Cheddar claims that Facebook through a spokesperson has refuted claims of any discussions with Stellar.
In his statement, Marcus commended the work of his team at Coinbase. “I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the [Coinbase] team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”
Earlier this year, Facebook imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency-related advertisements. But a few weeks ago, the social media giant exempted cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase from its blanket ban on cryptocurrency-related ads. In a tweet made last month, Brian Armstrong announced that the exchange has been whitelisted by Facebook and will continue “introducing more people to an open financial system.”