Facebook’s David Marcus Quits Coinbase to Avoid ‘Appearance’ of Conflict of Interest


Facebook blockchain head David Marcus announced he was quitting his position on the board of U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Friday, August 10, in a statement seen by various media outlets.

Marcus, who joined the exchange’s board in December 2017 and took on a blockchain research group at Facebook in May, said he now thinks it is “appropriate” to leave.

“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.

“…I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”

The decision comes as rumors continue to swirl about a potential acquisition of Coinbase by Facebook. Last month, the social media platform allowed the exchange to advertise its services, reversing a ban which took effect in January.

Correspondingly, media outlets quoted sources which suggested a perceived “conflict of interest” lay at the heart of Marcus giving up the board slot.

According to Facebook spokesperson who spoke to CNBC, the move was “to avoid the appearance of conflict, rather than because of an actual conflict.”

“Under David’s leadership Facebook is poised to be one of the leading players in crypto and an active acquirer,” Ryan Gilbert, a partner at Propel Venture Partners and a minor Coinbase investor also told the publication Saturday.

“Who knows, one day an acquisition of Coinbase could be in the cards.”