Every day, it feels like the web3 community gets closer to fulfilling the promise of a new kind of internet that, as my partner Chris Dixon recently put it, is “owned by the builders and users, orchestrated with tokens.” As this space goes mainstream and attracts more users—and scrutiny—so does the need to ensure deeper trust and confidence in the products and services being built on decentralized protocols. Central to this effort is security; if we are to build and scale the internet of value, people need confidence that their assets are protected.
Crypto is growing and adapting so quickly that it’s difficult for even the most technically-savvy founders to ensure they’re following the latest security best practices. 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. I’m pleased to announce that Nassim Eddequiouaq and Riyaz Faizullabhoy are joining a16z Crypto this week as our Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), respectively.
Nassim and Riyaz are phenomenal engineering and security leaders with a proven track record in blockchain and infrastructure, and are passionate about working to advance the entire crypto ecosystem. They’ve worked together for years across multiple companies to build world-class security systems in complex regulatory environments, and as part of our operating team, will closely consult with the projects in a16z Crypto’s portfolio to apply rigorous security measures and technical guidance.
Before joining a16z Crypto, Nassim and Riyaz co-created the crypto custody infrastructure for the Novi (fka Calibra) wallet at Facebook. Together, they served as engineering and technical leads for many aspects of the project to enable its vision of safely and securely bringing crypto to billions of new users.
Nassim and Riyaz were first introduced to crypto during their time at Anchorage (where we first got to know them), an institutional digital asset custodian, where Riyaz was a founding engineer and Nassim joined shortly thereafter. While they were both initially skeptical about the blockchain space, the technical challenge of securing private keys in a large distributed infrastructure was compelling to them. They quickly realized the potential and power of blockchain across many applications and use cases. The security-first product they helped build has convinced institutions and regulators alike that the ecosystem is headed in the right direction.
Prior to getting involved with blockchain technologies, Nassim and Riyaz met on the security team at Docker, a container platform for building, running, and managing applications. At Docker, they worked on securing application provenance, authentication systems, and designed and shipped the secure OS used in Docker Desktop.
Their passion for web3 is contagious, and I know that applying their knowledge across the projects in our portfolio will do wonders for the entire space. Welcome, Riyaz and Nassim!
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