David Marcus

David Marcus is an American entrepreneur who has made a significant impact in the technology industry.
Summary

David Marcus is an American entrepreneur who has made a significant impact in the technology industry. He is widely known as the co-creator and a board member of Libra, a cryptocurrency project initiated by Facebook. Prior to his involvement in Libra, Marcus was the former president of PayPal and Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook where he ran the Facebook Messenger unit from 2014 until 2018.

Marcus started his career in technology as a software engineer and entrepreneur. In 2008, he founded Zong, a mobile payments company that enabled consumers to purchase goods and services via their mobile phones. The company was later acquired by PayPal, where Marcus served as the president and was instrumental in expanding the company's mobile payments business.

In 2014, Marcus joined Facebook as Vice President of Messaging Products and took over the Messenger unit, where he was responsible for the growth and expansion of the messaging platform. During his tenure, Marcus oversaw the development of Messenger's mobile payments feature and its integration with businesses. He also played a key role in the acquisition of WhatsApp, another messaging platform, by Facebook.

In 2019, Marcus left his position at Messenger to lead the development of Libra, a cryptocurrency project initiated by Facebook. Libra aims to create a global digital currency that can be used for peer-to-peer transactions and cross-border payments, with the potential to reach the 1.7 billion people around the world who do not have access to traditional banking services.

The Libra project faced significant regulatory hurdles and pushback from policymakers, with concerns over privacy, security, and financial stability. In response to these concerns, Marcus testified before the United States Congress in July 2019, stating that Libra would not be launched until all regulatory concerns were addressed. The project was later scaled back and rebranded as Diem in 2020.

Despite the challenges, Marcus remains optimistic about the potential of cryptocurrencies to revolutionize the financial industry. He believes that cryptocurrencies have the potential to provide financial services to billions of people around the world who are currently excluded from traditional banking systems.

Biography

David Marcus is an American entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the tech industry. He founded GTN Telecom in 1996 at the age of 23, a Geneva-based provider of internet access and telephone service, where he served as the Chairman and CEO until it was acquired by World Access in 2000. After the acquisition, Marcus went on to found Echovox, a mobile media monetization company, and in 2008, he created Zong, an offshoot of Echovox that allowed users to pay for items online directly through their mobile phone bills. Zong was eventually acquired by PayPal in 2011 for $240 million, and Marcus joined PayPal as the Vice President and General Manager of the company's Mobile Division.

At PayPal, Marcus oversaw the launch of PayPal Here, an offline mobile card reader service, and became the company's President in 2012, replacing Scott Thompson. Under his leadership, PayPal acquired Braintree, the parent company of Venmo, for $800 million in 2013. In 2014, Marcus left PayPal to join Facebook as its Vice President of Messaging Products. There, he oversaw the development of Facebook Messenger mobile app, which reached 1 billion active users in July 2016. Marcus is credited with introducing Messenger's P2P payment platform, which was released in the United States in June 2015, and implementing business payments on the platform.

In December 2017, Marcus was appointed to the board of directors of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase due to his experience with digital payments at both PayPal and Facebook and his knowledge of cryptocurrency. Marcus is considered an early promoter of cryptocurrency, and in May 2018, he moved from Vice President of Messaging Products to lead the experimental blockchain group at Facebook.

In June 2019, Marcus and Facebook announced Libra, a cryptocurrency managed by Facebook and other companies as the Libra Association. Marcus was placed in charge of Calibra, a subsidiary of Facebook created for the project. However, the announcement of Libra coincided with a multi-state antitrust probe of Facebook, and there was significant criticism from politicians, regulators, and finance experts who raised concerns about Libra's potential destabilization of global currencies and central banking, and about Facebook having even more control and personal information. In July 2019, Marcus testified before the US Senate Banking Committee regarding Libra, stating that it would not be launched without approval from regulators.

In August 2020, Marcus was placed in charge of the Facebook Financial (F2) division, which would handle Facebook's payment service and WhatsApp Pay in some countries. He continued to work towards gaining regulatory approval for Facebook to use Libra for international payments. In December 2020, Libra was renamed Diem, and the Libra Association was renamed the Diem Association to emphasize changes made to the plan following its harsh reception from regulators. Marcus is currently one of five board members of the Diem Association.

In November 2021, Marcus announced that he would be leaving Facebook (recently renamed Meta) at the end of the year. In May 2022, he co-founded Lightspark, a company that uses the Lightning Network to "extend the capabilities of bitcoin," which received financing from venture capital firms a16z and Paradigm. David Marcus is a tech pioneer who has made significant contributions to the industry, and his work has helped shape the landscape of digital payments and cryptocurrency.


Vision

David Marcus has been involved in various technological innovations throughout his career, and his vision has often been focused on leveraging technology to improve people's lives.

As the former President of PayPal and Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, Marcus was instrumental in the development of various payment platforms that aimed to make financial transactions easier and more accessible to everyone. His work in creating PayPal Here, a mobile card reader service, and Messenger's P2P payment platform were important steps in this direction.

Marcus's vision also extends to the world of cryptocurrency. He is considered an early promoter of digital currency and has been vocal about its potential to revolutionize the financial industry. As the head of Facebook's experimental blockchain group, Marcus led the development of Libra, a cryptocurrency managed by Facebook and other companies as the Libra Association. His vision for Libra was to create a global currency that would provide financial services to people who are currently underserved by traditional banking systems.

However, Marcus's vision for Libra has not been without controversy. The proposed cryptocurrency faced criticism from politicians, regulators, and finance experts, who expressed concerns about its impact on global currencies and central banking, as well as Facebook's already substantial control and access to personal information. Despite these challenges, Marcus remained committed to his vision for Libra and worked to gain regulatory approval for Facebook to use it for international payments.


References
David Marcus
Nationality
American
Residence
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, U.S.
Occupation
Co-founder, CEO
Known for
Technology, Mobile, Payment, Consumer Internet
Accolades
Payment transactions on mobile device using mobile carrier Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Pre-Check In
Education
University of Geneva
Social Media
Fri Mar 01 2024
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