On Monday, the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz confirmed to CNBC that two of Facebook’s top engineers working on its blockchain and digital currency projects have left the business to join the firm’s cryptocurrency division.
Two Facebook engineers, Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq, have spent the past two years developing the Novi digital wallet. Which known as Calibra. The campaign has met with fierce opposition from regulators and lawmakers worldwide. The number of its high-profile leaders have resigned in protest.
With the help of Andreessen’s crypto team, which goes by the name of a16z Crypto, Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq will serve. As the team’s chief technology officer and information security officer, respectively. In June, the company announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency-focused fund with an initial capitalization of $2.2 billion.
As Faizullabhoy explained in a statement to CNBC, “Andreessen Horowitz has demonstrated an incredible dedication to growing. The whole crypto ecosystem over the past decade, and we leaped at the chance to join their premier team. and provide technical support to their rapidly-expanding portfolio.”
Facebook has made little headway in the cryptocurrency and blockchain field, even though Andreessen has been aggressively investing in the space and has made a tidy profit from an early bet on Coinbase, which went public in April.
Calibra and its Libra digital currency were launched with great enthusiasm by the firm in 2019, and the company stated that it aimed to deploy the items in 2020. Even though less than three months left in 2021, neither has been released, even though the names have changed. Calibra renamed Novi, while Libra renamed Diem just a few months ago.
A co-founder of Facebook’s cryptocurrency subsidiary, Morgan Beller resigned her post as Novi’s head of strategy in September 2020 to join venture capital firm NFX. In March, Kevin Weil, a fellow co-creator, left the company to work for satellite photography company Planet Labs.
In 2009, Marc Andreessen co-founded a16z and has been on Facebook’s board of directors since launching his own company. According to Anthony Albanese, the fund’s operating leader, his crypto team consists of approximately 50 people, including outside advisors. The group’s website has made more than three dozen investments, including in digital currencies, trading services, and other crypto-related ventures.
Albanese stated that the crypto strategy of the venture firm will allow Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq to work on a broader range of topics than what Facebook was able to provide.
According to Albanese, “They’ll be counseling our portfolio firms and protocols to assist them in ensuring that they have the most secure and advanced systems available.”
“They were putting together a Facebook wallet,” he explained. “It was a little more specific”. Instead, I believe they will have an opportunity to influence the cryptocurrency on a very broad scale in this location.”
They previously worked together at Anchorage, a digital asset bank in the early stages of development. They worked at Facebook to build the technological infrastructure that would allow digital money to stores in its Novi digital wallet.
According to Eddequiouaq, “Crypto represents a once-in-a-generation step revolution. With boundless potential to empower everyone”. The cryptographic technology also carries a unique set of sophisticated security issues that every cryptographic effort must identify and handle.