Ex-Reddit president heads for the exit

David Marcus, who has run Meta’s cryptocurrency efforts, is leaving the company, the company announced Thursday.

In an official blog post, Meta Inc stated:

Our desire was to maintain as much of Meta’s best practices with each of our assets, especially with its very robust dual token operation. Having that step be reactive is inefficient, and we don’t want to continue to waste management time when there is so much opportunity in front of us.

Marcus joined the company in 2017 when it acquired The Brink, the startup that became Meta’s crypto unit. Over the past 18 months, Marcus has played a significant role in building out the company’s structure, controls and infrastructure, while he also navigated the company’s early wave of regulatory inquiries.

He will leave Meta to pursue other endeavors, and the company is searching for a new chief cryptocurrency officer.

Later that evening, Marcus sent a tweet that summed up his career in crypto:

I’m leaving @MetaInc today and will focus on working with emerging digital money from a non-for-profit research perspective. I’ve built a multi-billion dollar open digital currency company, helped launch two of the most powerful hypernet currencies in history, created billions of dollars in value and created an economic system where everyone will benefit, including consumers and investors. There are few things I’m more proud of. Thank you to all of the people who’ve supported me and made this journey possible. https://t.co/ErPuOd3T7m — David Marcus (@DAVID_MARCUS) September 6, 2018

Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen Marcus ascend the cryptocurrency leaderboard. Last year, he was No3. Since then, he’s climbed to No.2 (after Andreessen Horowitz’s Ilya Sukhar), where he still sits. Marcus has led some of the more dramatic moves in cryptocurrency. In June, he tweeted:

Some of the biggest cryptocurrency events of the year were held under Marcus’s watch. Starting in the summer of 2017, Meta increasingly moved away from how it processed digital payments and toward the environment it operates in. Over the course of a few months in 2017, Marcus developed several new approaches that aimed to reduce cost, improve the rate of scaling and facilitate a better customer experience.

Earlier this year, Marcus made a formal announcement that Meta’s blockchain had crossed the 100m transactions milestone. The crypto leaderboard got a lot taller when Mark Cuban, who had previously risen to be one of the most visible players in bitcoin, recently stated that he intended to build his own cryptocurrency that would aim to replace what he called the bad reputation of Bitcoin.

In the announcement of Marcus’s departure, the company wrote:

With [Marcus’s] departure, we will be focusing more on our economic opportunity, the global scope of our community and our overall strategy. We will continue to innovate on the technology we’ve developed over the past year, while focusing on supporting the success of a wide range of users and customers across the world.

On Twitter, Marcus said:

David Marcus (@DAVID_MARCUS) Thanks to everyone for the support and message of the job I’ve had at Meta Inc & other companies I’ve worked at. I believe the digital currency world is incredibly important & will be essential going forward & we can’t neglect it.

I asked Marcus why he decided to leave the company now. “I believe it’s important to scale and help all of the people that use our technology, and I think Meta is taking the right steps towards that,” he replied in an email.

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