A co-creator of Facebook’s experimental digital currency Libra is leaving the project before it fully launches to become a general partner with the venture capital firm NFX.
Morgan Beller, 27, will become the fourth general partner at California and Israel-based NFX, where she will “be an exceptional ally to the world’s most inventive founders,” the venture capital firm said Tuesday. The news was first reported by TechCrunch.
Beller joined Facebook in 2017, where she began exploring cryptocurrency technology for ways to help the social media giant join the crypto space.
She created Libra and Facebook’s Novi wallet for the Libra network with Facebook vice presidents David Marcus and Kevin Weil. The currency is described as “a simple global payment system and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people,” according to the Libra website.
After joining Facebook, “I realized there was no one focused full-time on blockchain, crypto, etc. So I made my full-time job figuring out what Facebook should do, if anything, in that space,” Beller said.
NFX said Beller is “a strong culture fit” for its team. Partners at the firm do not take salaries, allowing them to be “more aligned” with its founders because the firm doesn’t make money until they do, according to the venture capital firm.
Beller chose to leave Facebook and the Libra team in order to be more involved in early-stage companies and projects, according to NFX. She plans to stay on at Novi as an advisor, she said on Twitter Tuesday.
NFX has a focus on tech companies from both Silicon Valley and Israel. Beller has been connected to fellow NFX partner Gigi Levy-Weiss since a business trip to Israel in 2015. This was a primary driver behind her decision to join NFX.
“Being part of Libra from the earliest days made me realize that I love that phase of a project — the sitting around and figuring out what we should do,” Beller said.
Libra’s initial launch was set for 2020, but a firm date has not yet been released.
Facebook has promised the Libra payment system will be accessible to anyone with an entry-level smartphone and data connectivity, and that Libra Coins will be backed by a reserve of assets made up of cash and short-term government securities.
Libra has been expanding its team in 2020, and most recently appointed former HSBC executive James Emmett as the CEO and managing director of Libra Networks. Also this month, it added venture capital firm Blockchain Capital as a member of the Libra Association.
In June, Libra appointed Sterling Daines as its chief compliance officer, who previously served as the global head of financial crime compliance at Credit Suisse. And in August, Libra hired Steve Bunnell as its chief legal officer, who replaced the company’s former general counsel Robert Werner, who left the position after three months.
Libra also formally applied for a payment system license with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in April. The licensing process will continue to have input from central banks and other global financial regulatory, supervisory and enforcement authorities.
--Additional reporting by Minyoung Park and Zack Fishman