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David Marcus of the Facebook blockchain research team announced today that he is removing himself from Coinbase’s board of directors. This is in order to avoid any conflict of interest between his now-former company and Facebook, as the latter continues their foray into blockchain technology.

according to TechCrunch on Friday, Marcus’ resignation represents a step forward for Facebook’s crypto efforts, as well as the removal of an important PR hurdle. Marcus carries out an important role within both companies, as TechCrunch’s John Constine notes:

Marcus was formerly the president of PayPal and helped Facebook Messenger adopt chatbot commerce and peer-to-peer payments, so he was both a natural choice for Coinbase’s board and Facebook’s blockchain skunklabs.

Marcus was appointed to the team in May, while later in July Facebook stalwart Even Cheng took on the role of director of engineering for blockchain, Bitcoinist reported.

Clearing a Hurdle

According to a statement from Marcus, his departure came “because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain.” Marcus notes that despite the resignation, he left the Coinbase on good terms, giving shimmering reviews of his co-workers:

Getting to know Brian [Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase], who’s become a friend, and the whole Coinbase leadership team and board has been an immense privilege. 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.”

With this hurdle cleared, Facebook now has even more reign over how they move forward with unveiling their plans to the public. However, this does not mean the social media giant is eager to do so. The developmental stages of the project have created an atmosphere of patient expectation. One Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch:

“We are still in the very early stages and we are considering a number of different applications for the blockchain. But we don’t have anything else to share at this time,”

The Masterplan

This hushed attitude has not deterred the crypto community from

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