The head of Facebook's blockchain removes the conflict, leaves the Coinbase board

For Facebook, this would be a heavy regulatory burden to assume, particularly at a time when legislators and consumers are pushing the company to clean up its processes to protect user data.

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal at the start of this year and the recognition by the social network of how its platform was used by foreign actors before the 2016 elections, CEO Mark Zuckerberg He testified before US and European legislators. All required greater responsibility and even regulation.

But Coinbase, which ranked # 10 in the list of the most recent CNBC Disruptor, has a clear potential interest on Facebook. As of December, Coinbase had 13.3 million users, according to data from Alistair Milne co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. This rose from 4.7 million a little more than a year earlier, and was more than the number of clients at the Charles Schwab brokerage.

Facebook is willing to open the portfolio for fast-growing platforms of users involved – whether it's Instagram for photos or WhatsApp for messaging. And even with its share price only this year, Facebook has a market value of 520 billion dollars – a lot of ammunition to hire a company the size of Coinbase.

Yet, by all accounts, Coinbase has no interest in selling. Even with the cryptocurrency markets that are cooling down this year, after a gangbusters of 2017, Coinbase has great ambitions.

In his second quarter update to employees last month, Armstrong highlighted the hiring of five senior executives in the quarter, 59 people in products and engineering, and the launch of new business units to focus on general investors , professional and institutional.

Coinbase was also a buyer, buying four companies in the quarter, including Earn.com, an e-mail product that allows senders to pay users in cryptocurrency.

"We are beginning to imagine what would be possible when we combine all the brilliance of these teams with all the opportunities that await us on Coinbase," wrote Armstrong.

As for Marcus' last move, Armstrong said in a statement that "he remains a close friend of the company, and we thank him for his help during the start of our journey to create a system financial open for the world. "

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