Facebook’s top digital currency engineer leaves for a16z crypto fund

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Marc Andreessen giving a speech at the 2017 Recode conference on May 30, 2017.

Asa Mathata of Vox Media

The venture capital firm told CNBC on Monday that two top engineers on Facebook’s blockchain and digital currency projects have left the company to join Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto team.

Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Naseem Eddequioq have spent the past two years developing Facebook’s Novi digital wallet (originally called Calibra). The effort is facing stiff opposition from regulators and lawmakers around the world, leaving many of its key leaders behind.

Faizullabhoy and Eddequioq 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.

“Andreessen Horowitz has shown an impressive dedication to moving the entire crypto ecosystem over the past decade. We have the opportunity to join his core team and provide technical support to our rapidly growing portfolio.” ,” Horoz Laboy told CNBC in a statement.

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

Courtesy of Andreessen Horowitz

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

The company announced Calibra and its Libra digital currency in a big way in 2019, saying it expects to launch the product in 2020. With less than three months left in 2021, the name has changed, but neither has been released. Calibra became Novi and Libra was renamed Dim last year.

Morgan Beller, one of the founders of Facebook’s cryptocurrency arm, stepped down as Novi’s strategic director 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 that his crypto team consists of around 50 members, including external advisors. According to its website, the group has made 30 investments, including digital currencies, trading services and other cryptocurrencies.

After working at Facebook’s Novi cryptocurrency wallet for the past two years, Naseem Eddequioq has joined Andreessen Horowitz as Chief Information Security Officer for the venture capital firm’s a16z crypto team.

Courtesy of Andreessen Horowitz

Albanese said the venture’s crypto strategy could address a broader range of issues than Facebook offers for Faizulbhoy and EddeQuick.

“They will advise portfolio companies on protocols and help ensure they have the most secure and most sophisticated systems in place,” Albanese said.

“They were doing Facebook Wallet,” he said. “It was more specific. While I think here they will have the opportunity to really impact the crypto ecosystem on a much larger scale.”

Prior to joining Facebook, he worked for Anchorage, a digital asset banking startup. At Facebook, they have set up a technical infrastructure to hold digital currencies within the company’s Novi wallet.

“Cryptography is a once-in-a-lifetime step-by-step change in technology and has infinite potential to empower everyone,” EddeQuick said in a statement. “It also brings a unique set of complex security challenges that every crypto project needs to identify and address.”

Look: Facebook doesn’t feel like the wind is blowing on the sails

Source Link Facebook’s top digital currency engineer leaves for a16z crypto fund

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