David Marcus, the co-creator of Facebook’s (now Meta) Diem digital currency and the leader of their new Novi crypto unit, announced that he’s leaving the company.
Some background: In 2018, there were reports that Facebook was working on their own digital currency called Libra.
- Libra was intended to be a digital stablecoin backed by a number of fiat currencies. The asset would be spearheaded by Facebook but ultimately governed by a foundation.
As you can imagine, Facebook’s not the most popular among regulators and politicians so the announcement of Libra attracted a lot of negative attention from Congress and forced the company to pivot.
What happened: Facebook basically scrapped Diem altogether and pivoted to Novi, a digital asset wallet built into Facebook Messenger.
- Novi is expected to launch soon. Its primary use case is sending and receiving money without fees using the USDP stablecoin. Think: sending money to loved ones overseas.
With Novi about to launch, Marcus’ exit from the company leaves Facebook’s cryptocurrency division in limbo as the company still tries to find their web3 feet.
Why it matters: While Facebook’s adventure in crypto hasn’t been the smoothest (Marcus’ departure being the latest stumble), Web 2.0 companies have the power to bring millions of new users into crypto—and that’s Marcus’ legacy. If all goes according to plan with Novi, over a billion Facebook users will have access to a crypto wallet, albeit a somewhat limited one.
- Facebook’s web3 entrance is also an example of how tough it’ll be for web2 companies to pivot to this decentralized world.