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Brazilian Unicorn Nubank Hires Ex-Meta Crypto Chief David Marcus

A person holds a smartphone with the Nubank bank app running on the screen. On a table behind the phone, artistic representations of cryptoassets are visible, along with a laptop computer.
Source: Diego/Adobe

Brazilian neobank Nubank, known for its crypto-friendly stance, has made headlines by hiring David Marcus, the former crypto chief at Meta (formerly Facebook), while simultaneously seeing a key member of its management team step down. The move comes hot on the heels of the bank's release of its own crypto asset.

Per Criptofacil and a Nubank press release, Marcus has been appointed to Nubank’s board of directors. Marcus, who previously made a name for himself at the e-pay giant PayPal, headed the Libra/Diem project while at Meta.

The project ultimately failed to materialize in its original form, following the intervention of United States politicians. But Meta originally hoped that Libra (later known as Diem) would become a “global stablecoin.”

Marcus was responsible for creating a crypto wallet for the project – originally named Calibra. Last year he launched Lightspark, a firm that provides solutions for the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

While Nubank has made a significant hire in former crypto chief David Marcus, the Brazilian neobank has also experienced a key departure as Senior Director and Global Head of Public Policy Bruno Magrani has announced his resignation from the company after five years. 

According to O Globo, Magrani will be taking a sabbatical before pursuing his entrepreneurial plan.

Nubank’s journey into crypto began in earnest last year, and the firm now offers a large number of its users access to crypto trading via its app. The bank has some 70 million customers, by its own reckoning – around a third of Brazil’s population. It is also active in a range of other Latin American nations, such as Mexico and Colombia.

What Are Nubank’s Plans for Ex-Facebook Crypto Chief?

Nubank made a major announcement on March 1, revealing in a blog post that it had launched its own token, called Nucoin, which will be tied to the bank's loyalty program. According to Nubank, the coin employs an eco-friendly verification process, called Proof of Authority (PoA), on its blockchain network.

Nubank stated that “as a Board member,” Marcus would “play a fundamental role in Nubank’s journey as the company expands in its multi-country, multi-product, and multi-segment strategy.”

David Vélez, the CEO and Founder of Nubank, was quoted as stating:

“David [Marcus] has an impressive career working in the intersection of financial services and consumer technology, shaping the future of the industry. He brings unique perspectives on how to grow consumer and financial products to a truly global scale. We [will] expand our reach into new markets and segments and keep pushing innovation further.”

As the global crypto market continues to mature and evolve, the future of Brazil's crypto industry holds many unknowns. However, with the emergence of innovative players like Nubank and the hiring of experienced crypto professionals like David Marcus, there is reason to believe that Brazil's crypto market could play an increasingly important role in the years ahead.