David Marcus leaves Facebook – is this the beginning of the end for Diem?

David Marcus is leaving Facebook, where he has been leading its digital currency Diem project in what looks like surrender by the company.
Diem has faced overwhelming opposition from regulators who believe it could pose a challenge to existing fiat currencies.

The man who has championed Facebook’s digital currency efforts is leaving the company. David Marcus has announced that he is leaving the social media giant where he has been leading its Diem stablecoin effort. While he has claimed that he is leaving the company to pursue other entrepreneurial interests, some experts claim it could be a sign that Facebook is giving up its stablecoin effort.

Marcus announced his departure on Twitter, leaving a company he has been with for the past seven years. He previously led the Facebook Messenger division and led it to one billion users in 2016. He then moved to Facebook’s blockchain and digital currency division where he led its Diem and Novi efforts.

Personal news: after a fulfilling seven years at Meta, I’ve made the difficult decision to step down and leave the company at the end of this year. (1/7)

— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) November 30, 2021

Marcus stated, “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.”

His departure is a big blow to Facebook, now named Meta. He has been one of Mark Zuckerberg’s most trusted executives in the firm. His experience in digital payments (having been the President of PayPal before joining Facebook) was critical in Facebook’s stablecoin efforts.

Marcus leaves at the end of the year and he will be succeeded by Stephane Kasriel, the former Uphold CEO who joined Facebook last year. His departure comes a few months after Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer also announced he would be leaving his position.

Is Facebook giving up stablecoin efforts?

Facebook has been pursuing its stablecoin for some time now, first as Libra and now as Diem. As CNF reported in October, the company launched a limited version of its Novi wallet targeting the U.S-Guatemala payment corridor. Immediately after it launched, it was faced with backlash by American legislators who claimed that “Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency.”

Read More: Facebook launches Novi wallet to backlash from Senate

This wave of criticism has come to characterize Facebook’s digital currency efforts over the past several months. Regulators in the U.S, Europe and even in Africa have all criticized the Diem stablecoin, concerned that giving such power to a company whose record is already quite tainted would be detrimental to the global economy.

And now with the departure of the man who led the effort, and who lobbied for Diem even in Washington, the Diem dream could be about to fizzle out.

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