For its digital asset fund, Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), a renowned crypto venture capital company, has grabbed two of the top developers working on Facebook’s digital currency project.
Nassim Eddequiouaq and Riyaz Faizullabhoy. Those who spent two years working on Facebook’s Novi digital wallet (formerly Calibra). Have switched ship to A16z, according to a CNBC storey dated October 11th.
At A16z’s crypto division, Faizullabhoy will be the CTO, while Eddequiouaq will be the CIO. Faizullabhoy declared:
“Over the last decade, Andreessen Horowitz has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the advancement of the entire crypto ecosystem. And we leapt at the chance to join their elite team and give technical assistance to their rapidly-expanding portfolio.”
Marc Andreessen, the creator of A16z, has been a member of Facebook’s board of directors since 2008. One year before the firm’s founding.
Through their new jobs, A16z’s new personnel will have a larger “potential to affect the crypto ecosystem broadly”. According to Anthony Albanese, the firm’s COO.
“They’ll be counselling our portfolio businesses and processes to ensure that they have the most secure and advanced systems available,” Albanese added. He went on to say that their former positions at Facebook were far more “specific”.
They weren’t the first two jumping Facebook’s ship
Before joining Facebook’s Novi project, Eddequiouaq and Faizullabhoy worked at cryptocurrency custody firm Anchorage.
The two aren’t the first Facebook developers to leave the company’s digital money initiative. Morgan Beller, Novi’s head of strategy, will join VC firm NFX in September 2020. In March of this year, co-creator Kevin Weil joined satellite imaging business Planet Labs.
Because of its early and successful investments in Coinbase, Compound, and OpenSea, Andreessen Horowitz regarded as a major crypto venture capital company. However, the company has lately sparked debate about how its governance voting rights for Uniswap, a leading decentralised exchange, were distributed.
University legal schools, including the Harvard Law Blockchain and Fintech Initiative, have received A16z’s votes (BFI). Nonetheless, in May, the Harvard BFI released a governance proposal calling for the formation of a decentralised finance lobbying group known as the DeFi Education Fund (DEF). The plan suggested sending $20M in UNI to the company to support its activities. With the group promising to sell the tokens over a four- to five-year period.
However, less than two weeks after the proposal passed and the tokens were handed to the DEF at the beginning of June, the DEF shocked the DeFi community by announcing it had liquidated $10M worth of UNI, causing both the DEF and A16z to face criticism.