Two of Facebook’s senior crypto engineers have left to join venture fund Andreessen Horowitz

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Thumbs up and down Malte Mueller
  • Nassim Eddequiouaq and Riyaz Faizullabhoy are leaving Facebook to join Andreesen Horowitz’ crypto team this week.
  • The crypto engineers worked on Facebook’s Novi digital wallet, which is tied to the blockchain-based Diem currency.
  • Eddequiouaq and Faizullabhoy will head up information security and technology respectively for a16z Crypto.
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Two senior Facebook crypto engineers have left the social media company to join the crypto push at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z.

Nassim Eddequiouaq will be chief information security officer at a16z Crypto, while Riyaz Faizullabhoy will be chief technology officer as of this week, the firm said in a statement Monday.

The pair co-developed the crypto custody infrastructure for Facebook’s Novi crypto wallet, which should launch soon, the head of Facebook Financial (F2) has said.

They have worked together in various companies for several years, and have expertise in blockchain and building security systems, according to their new employer.

“We began searching for a world-class security leader to consult with the projects in our portfolio and help our own operations scale in a crypto-native way, and were doubly fortunate to find a pair of them instead,” Anthony Albanese, chief operating officer of a16z, said in its statement.

In June, a16z launched its third and largest crypto fund, the $US2.2 ($AU3) billion Crypto Fund III. In its announcement, the venture firm said it wanted to recruit a speicialized team to help the projects it invested in to design crypto protocols and mechanisms.

A16z has more than $US3 ($AU4) billion crypto assets under management across its three funds, and has been investing in the sector since 2013, according to its website.

The loss of Eddequiouaq and Faizullabhoy will be a blow to Facebook’s Novi digital wallet project, which used to be called Calibra. The social media company has put its launch on hold as it tackles regulatory delays to Diem, the blockchain-based digital currency formerly known as Libra that is tied to the wallet.