Former PayPal boss David Marcus, who was the driving force behind the digital currency developed by Facebook, is leaving the group. He gave in to the urge to want to be active again as an entrepreneur, wrote Marcus on Tuesday on Twitter.
From messenger to digital currency
The 48-year-old has been running the Messenger chat service on Facebook since 2014 and was then entrusted with the development of his own digital currency by founder Mark Zuckerberg. However, the project presented in 2019 was received with fierce headwinds by politicians and central banks and hardly gets off the ground.
The Facebook group, which recently changed its name to Meta, had developed the digital money under the leadership of Marcus, but then left control of it to an association based in Switzerland.
Marcus was most recently responsible for Facebook’s Wallet, a digital wallet. The wallet was renamed from Calibra to Novi and the name of the digital currency changed from Libra to Diem. While there can be digital wallets from different providers, according to previous plans, only the in-house wallet should be able to be used in meta services such as WhatsApp and Messenger.
Criticism from politics and the financial world of Facebook’s digital money
Central bankers and politicians had expressed concern, among other things, that a new digital currency could disrupt global money flows and destabilize the financial system. At the beginning of this year, the European Central Bank even issued a warning against Diem. In view of the pressure, there have already been significant changes to the concept.
The original plan was for Libra to be hedged with a basket of different currencies and government bonds. Subsequently, Libra units were proposed, which are firmly linked to individual national currencies. In addition, the measures against money laundering and terrorist financing have been improved. So far, however, the steps have not been sufficient to remove resistance against Diem.