- Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto team acquires Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq, two of Facebook’s leads on its digital currency project.
- This move is one of the latest in a wave of resignations from Facebook’s crypto unit.
- They have been working on Facebook’s Novi digital wallet from last two years
Facebook has lost two of its top engineers working on its blockchain and digital currency projects to Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto team.
Over the past two years, Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq have been working on Facebook’s Novi digital wallet, which was originally called Calibra.
Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq can tackle a broader range of issues with the venture firm’s crypto strategy than Facebook can provide. The project faced resistance from regulatory authorities, and several high-profile leaders have stepped down.
Eddequiouaq and Faizullabhoy will serve as chief technology officer and chief information security officer, respectively, on Andreessen’s cryptocurrency team, called a16z Crypto. The firm announced a new $2.2 billion crypto-focused fund in June.
In a statement given to CNBC, Faizullabhoy said, “Andreessen Horowitz has shown an impressive dedication to advancing the entire crypto ecosystem over the past decade, and we jumped at the chance to join their premier team and provide technical support to their rapidly-expanding portfolio.”
Facebook announced Calibra and its Libra digital currency in 2019, the company said it would launch the products in 2020. With less than three months remaining in 2021, the products have yet to be released while the names have changed. Last year Calibra became Novi, and Libra was renamed Diem. However, in April, Facebook announced to launch Diem in 2021.
One of the co-founders of Facebook’s crypto unit, Morgan Beller, joined venture capital firm NFX in September 2020 after leaving her post as Novi’s head of strategy. Kevin Weil also left in March to join Planet Labs, a satellite imagery company.
Eddequiouaq said, “Crypto is a once-in-a-generation step change in technology with unlimited potential to empower everyone. It also brings a unique set of complex security challenges that every crypto project needs to recognize and address.”