Facebook executive in charge of cryptocurrency push resigns

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The top executive overseeing Facebook’s efforts in cryptocurrency and international money transfers quit on Tuesday, further complicating the company’s efforts to gain a foothold in the fast-growing world of digital currencies and blockchain technology.

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The company began hitting walls in Washington just months after the high-profile departure of David Marcus, when it announced its intention to use cryptocurrencies to allow its users to make payments and send money to each other without transaction fees. resumed its initiative. The project, which has faced delays and name changes since it was first announced in 2019, has come under scrutiny from regulators and users, many of whom are already concerned about the social media giant’s power.

“My entrepreneurial DNA has been bugging me for several mornings in a row to continue to ignore this,” Marcus tweeted announcing his departure. Mr. Marcus said that Facebook’s vice president of fintech and crypto division, Stephen Kasriel, will take over the task. A Facebook spokesperson did not return a request for comment.

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Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could be a central part of Facebook’s efforts to rebrand under its new corporate name, Meta, and move beyond social media to build its own “metaverse” — a vague term that refers to the future. where people use augmented and virtual reality tech to spend more time in communal digital spaces.

Cryptocurrency investors envision a world where blockchain technology – which allows transactions and ownership records without the need for a centralized database or authority such as a bank or government – ​​will serve as the backbone for a metaverse where people meet. , operate and conduct commerce. Over the past year, the price of blockchain-linked digital art and real estate has skyrocketed.

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Facebook has experienced a string of executive departures in recent years as the company has been embroiled in controversy, including recent revelations from an internal whistleblower showing the extent of the social damage the tech giant knew it caused. . The company’s policy director for terrorism and dangerous organizations – who played a key role in managing the fallout from the January 6 uprising – also left last month. Post And other media outlets gushed about the company’s role in promoting that event.

Mr. Marcus was recruited by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2014 from PayPal to help lead Facebook’s Messenger app. In 2018, the company attributed his crypto efforts to him, and a year later he unveiled Libra, the original name of the project, to use the cryptocurrency to facilitate international money transfers. Politicians protested, and the company agreed not to launch Libra until it received regulatory approval in the United States. Other companies that had originally signed up in support of the project withdrew, including eBay, PayPal and Visa.

Facebook renamed the Diem project, and announced its own payments and cryptocurrency app called Novi. Facebook’s new iteration of cryptocurrency will be a stablecoin – a type of cryptocurrency whose value is pinned in a basket of assets such as a real-world currency or US Treasury bond. Facebook executives are lobbying the White House on the new plan, but concerns remain and the project sparked renewed pushback in Washington, Washington Post Reported in September. According to people familiar with the discussions, Treasury Department officials are concerned that the Facebook-dominated cryptocurrency could threaten the economy if it becomes popular and then crashes.

Facebook’s forays into the space have been seen by some cryptocurrency boosters as another sign that digital currencies are the future. But some blockchain enthusiasts and crypto investors are concerned about a powerful corporation eventually being pushed into a space controlled by an individual that helps basically free people relying on large companies and governments to do business and pay. was to do.

Washington Post

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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