David Marcus is stepping down from the board of directors of Coinbase, cryptocurrency, to mention his new post on Facebook that drives the blockchain strategy of the social media giant.
Marcus, vice president of Facebook since 2014, joined the board of directors of Coinbase, now valued at $ 8 billion, in December of last year. At the time, the CEO Brian Armstrong stated that Marcus, who was once president of PayPal, would apply his experience in "payments and mobile space" to guide Coinbase in its overall mission.
Five months later, Marcus was named the new Facebook blockchain of research lead. The company has not released details of the work it is doing on the field, although Marcus' group has less than a dozen members (Business Insider reported on Friday that the social media company talked about "a series of cryptographic projects" on how can exploit the technology, including Stellar, who developed the XLM cryptocurrency
Marcus in particular indicated in the past that Facebook could embrace blockchain, referring in particular to the idea of sending cryptocurrency payments via its Messenger app
In a statement released to CoinDesk on Friday, Marcus said his decision to step down is "because of the new group I'm setting up around Facebook around blockchain."
"Knowing Brian, who became a friend, and the entire team and board of directors of Coinbase was a huge privilege, I was deeply impressed by the talent and execution that the team has shown during my term and I wish the team all the success it deserves to go on.
A spokesperson for Coinbase said that Marcus' decision to resign was made to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, but he refused to elaborate.
His departure is less than a month after Facebook has excluded Coinbase from its general ban on cryptocurrency ads. Armstrong tweeted in July that the announcements of the exchange would appear again on the platform, a few weeks after Facebook would update its policy "to allow for advertising promoting cryptocurrency and content correlated by pre-approved advertisers". Facebook did not explain why Coinbase specifically received a spin-off.
Coinbase ads now appear on both Facebook and Instagram, owned by Facebook.
There is currently no effort to fill Marcus's seat, said a spokesman for Coinbase
Barry Schuler of DFJ Venture Capital, Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz and Katie Haun of Union Square Vent Wilson Fred Wilson, Tom Loverro di IVP and Co-founder of Coinbase Fred Ehrsam remain on the board of directors.
Armstrong said in a statement that Marcus "was a wonderful addition to the board of Coinbase, providing valuable information and tutoring," adding:
"He remains a close friend of the company, and we thank him for his help us at the start of our journey to create an open financial system for the world. "
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated.  David Image of Marco via Anthony Quintano / Flickr