• Tue. Nov 2nd, 2021

Facebook’s top digital currency engineers go to a16z cryptocurrency treasure trove

ByHazel R. Lang

Oct 13, 2021

Two of Facebook’s top engineers on its blockchain and advanced money project have handed over the organization to join Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto group, the investment firm told CNBC on Monday. Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq have gone through more than two years crunching Facebook’s Novi computer wallet, which was originally called Calibra. The work met with solid obstruction from supervisors and lawmakers around the world, and some of its prominent pioneers withdrew.

“Andreessen Horowitz has shown impressive dedication to advancing the entire crypto ecosystem over the past decade. We have the opportunity to join their premier team and provide technical support to our growing portfolio. “I jumped on it,” Horows Laboy told CNBC in a statement.

Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq are the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer of Andreessen’s cryptocurrency team (a16z Crypto), respectively. In June, the company announced a new $ 2.2 billion crypto-focused fund.

After working on Facebook’s Novi cryptocurrency wallet for the past two years, Riyaz Faizullabhoy joins Andreessen Horowitz as CTO of Venture Capital’s a16z crypto team.

Andreessen is an active cryptocurrency and blockchain investor, hit hard by a first bet on Coinbase released in April, but Facebook hasn’t made much progress in this area yet. ..

Courtesy of Andreessen Horowitz

The company announced the Calibra and its digital currency Libra in a big way in 2019 and said it hopes to launch the product in 2020. With less than three months left in 2021, the name has changed, but none have been released. . Calibra became Novi and Libra was renamed Diem last year.

Morgan Beller, one of the founders of Facebook’s cryptocurrency unit, stepped down as strategic director of Novi in ​​September 2020 to join venture capital firm NFX. Co-creator Kevin Weil left in March to join satellite imagery company Planet Labs.

Marc Andreessen, who co-founded a16z in 2009, was a member of the Facebook board for a year before the company was founded. Anthony Albanese, head of fund operations, said his crypto team has around 50 members, including outside advisers. According to its website, the group has made 30 investments, including digital currencies, trading services and other cryptocurrencies. After working on Facebook’s Novi cryptocurrency wallet for the past two years, Nassim Eddequiouaq has joined Andreessen Horowitz as director of information security for the a16z Crypto team at the venture capital firm. .

Courtesy of Andreessen Horowitz Albanese, the company’s crypto strategy could solve a wider range of issues than Facebook’s offerings for Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq.

“They will advise portfolio companies on protocols and help ensure they have the most secure and sophisticated systems,” Albanese said. “They were doing Facebook wallets,” he said. “It was more precise. While I believe that here they will have the opportunity to influence the crypto ecosystem on a very, very large scale.

Before joining Facebook, he worked for Anchorage, a digital asset banking startup. On Facebook, they set up a technical infrastructure to keep digital currencies in the company’s Novi wallet. “Cryptography is a once in a lifetime step-by-step technological change and has endless potential to empower everyone,” Eddequiouaq said in a statement. “It also brings a unique set of complex security challenges that every crypto project must recognize and solve.”

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  • Facebook’s top digital currency engineers go to a16z cryptocurrency treasure
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