In the summer of 2017, Morgan Beller approached her supervisor on Facebook’s corporate development team with a proposal: what if she began spending the bulk of her job researching how the social-media giant could enter the digital currency market?
Beller was so new at Facebook that she was still completing her orientation, but she’d cut her teeth at a venture capital firm, where she’d worked on early cryptocurrency investments. She could see that a seismic shift in the global financial community was coming.
When she realized that no one at Facebook was working on blockchain, she volunteered and quickly became the company’s digital currency evangelist, shepherding the development of both its open-source blockchain infrastructure, Libra, and its currency application and digital wallet, Novi. Today she serves as head of strategy for the latter, where she works with a team of digital currency developers.
Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, endured sharp criticism after announcing the plans for Libra. Beller wasn’t surprised. “We’re trying to change the system, and there are a lot of people who are incentivized for the global financial system not to change,” she says.
Libra hasn’t even rolled out yet, but it’s already prompted several countries, including China, to accelerate the development of their own national digital currencies. The Libra Association recently announced plans to scale back Libra and first issue a coin backed by a local currency, but even with these modifications, Libra has already been disruptive.