Facebook Vice President David Marcus is the face of the company’s Libra digital currency, but the original driving force was a 26-year-old female engineer named Morgan Beller.
On February 12, 2018, Silicon Valley investor and cryptocurrency technologist Howard Wu was invited to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park to discuss the implications, opportunities and risks of introducing more than 2 billion online users to blockchain technology.
The invitation didn’t come from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, or Vice President and former PayPal executive David Marcus, the current leader of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency proposal and Calibra wallet.
Instead, he met with Morgan Beller, a rather new employee in Facebook’s corporate development unit who treated him to a cup of joe from the Philz Coffee on the company’s campus.
Beller’s questions were fascinating, if not far-fetched.
‘If you had a platform of over 2 billion users, how would you go about trying to integrate blockchain technology into the platform?’” Wu recalls Beller asking. By the time their coffee meeting –– one of many – was over, Wu left Facebook feeling an equal combination of excitement and uncertainty.
Beller is a short, dark-haired 26-year-old and people describe her as a charismatic, optimistic and energetic hustler.
Before working with Marcus and Weil, she was the sole person working on a Facebook blockchain initiative. For months in 2017, Beller spent time researching the technology and meeting with folks in the industry, according to Wu and another person familiar with the matter.
Beller may not have a high profile, but she’s become a fixture in the crypto scene, said Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, a digital wallet startup in Mountain View, California. Barhydt said Beller has spent a lot of time making the rounds in the crypto community, having meetings with folks like Wu and attending conferences focused on the technology.
She’s a big believer in financial inclusion and the ability for cryptocurrency tech to have a very positive impact in underserved communities around the world,” he said. “I give her a lot of credit for taking what seems like a very methodical, long-term approach to figuring this out.