Facebook’s Novi wallet hits trouble as two top engineers depart

Karthik Subramanian

Facebook’s Novi digital wallet project has been hitting a lot of roadblocks lately as two more top engineers from the team, Riyaz Faizullabhoy, and Nassim Eddequiouaq, have departed from the team and joined the crypto team of Andreesen Horowitz.


The digital wallet project has seen many ups and downs and though it’s been a couple of years since Facebook started its project for the Libra coin and the Novi digital wallet, not much seems to have progressed, at least as much as known in the public realm. The company has also said repeatedly that it would continue to proceed with the project through no progress updates or timelines have been shared as yet. This project has come under increasing scrutiny from the regulators the world over and the scrutiny has become even tighter in recent months especially with the privacy concerns surrounding Facebook being raised the world over with the authorities beginning to realize how much power it wields over the day to day affairs of people. All this has only heightened the fears surrounding the cryptocurrency and the digital wallet with any progress being stalled at various points by the regulators.

Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq would be serving as the chief technology officer and chief information security officer, respectively, on the crypto focussed team, a16z crypto, of Andreessen which had also recently announced large crypto focussed fund of $2.2 billion.

“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,” Faizullabhoy said.

These are not the first departures from the team as Morgan Beller, one of the founders of the team, had left Facebook in 2020 which was another blow for the crypto plans of Facebook.  It is indeed interesting what plans Andreessen has as far as crypto is concerned as its focus has been mainly on the management of funds so far. Whether it is looking to pivot into any kind of development in the digital asset space or whether the hires are simply to bolster the tech team to make better investment decisions is not clear at this time. With the resources and the right team in place, the company could be looking to enter into the development space in a big way which would give the likes of Faizullabhoy and Eddequiouaq a lot more to work with and contribute.

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