Ex-Facebook Engineers Jump Out of Novi and Launch Cryptocurrency

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With thousands upon thousands of crypto projects currently in existence, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. But sometimes one jumps out.

Mysten Labs’ first product is one of those. The first thing that caught my eye was the team – the start-up was founded by four ex-Facebook engineers.

University of Facebook

Novi is the digital wallet app launched by Facebook last year. When Facebook shares were released in October last year, they rose 4.2%. The vision is ambitious – first, it’s expected to be challenging in the remittances sector, but with plans to integrate into Messenger and WhatsApp, it’s anyone’s guess where it will go.

However, crypto engineers are a funny bunch; they are never afraid to swim against the current. Four engineers working together in the Novi division illustrated this when they disembarked to establish their own crypto start-up – Mysten Labs.

Last October, the start-up raised $36 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. One of the four founders was Evan Cheng, director of research and development in Novi’s financial products division.

“We’ve dreamed of doing something together for a long time,” Cheng told CNBC in an interview last year. “We are building infrastructure that, based on our previous research, will overcome many limitations.”


Today, Mysten Labs announced its inaugural product – a Layer 1 blockchain called Sui, which will address some of crypto’s biggest bottlenecks.

“Sui is the first decentralized blockchain platform for the vibrant asset economy with high throughput, low latency, and an asset-centric programming model powered by Move,” the press release said. “It is a high-performing, horizontally scalable blockchain with no theoretical limits, using extremely low compute resources per transaction. It was designed from the ground up to enable instant settlement, with the high throughput, low latency, and low costs needed to power applications for billions of users.”

Without a doubt, Sui goes right into the belly of the beast. The claim of “no theoretical limits” is very remarkable, given the column space that computational resources and lack of scalability occupy in crypto. The source of many of crypto’s biggest headaches, these problems have been difficult for the emerging industry to solve. The release further claims that Sui will have “horizontal scalability to maintain low gas costs and high transaction processing capabilities beyond legacy payment rails like VISA and SWIFT”.


Ethereum, of course, has its fair share of problems. The release cites the decline in dominance regarding TVL – which, as you can see in the chart below from Defi Llama, has fallen dramatically. The Sui team further criticizes Ethereum’s problems with scalability, high gas rates and also the decline of the NFT market. To be honest, it’s hard to argue with these points as Ethereum’s dominance has definitely declined. However, as ETH 2.0 is seemingly getting closer, the hope is that it will improve. For now, however, the competition is healthy and Sui is aiming for the throne. Ethereum’s Fall Into TVL Dominance, Per Defi Llama

Use cases

The scope of Sui is certainly not narrow. The release hits several of crypto’s biggest areas as use cases.

Implementing low-latency, central-limit on-chain order books with reduced slippage and no transient loss – delivering optimized mechanics to traders Facilitating grouped airdrops for millions of people in a single, low-cost trade Developing richer in-game interactions, including crafting equipment, leveling up characters and battle records stored in the chain Decentralized creator-owned social media networks tailored to provide privacy, ownership and interoperability The ability to seamlessly deliver content via decentralized networks Decentralized storage and on-chain oracles

“We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible in Web 3.0,” continues Cheng. “Missing infrastructure has crippled development across the entire space – from DeFi to gaming and NFTs. With Sui, we will enable builders and collectors to unlock a world previously inaccessible.”


This will be an exciting project to follow. The team is absolutely right about Ethereum’s problems, and the opportunity is there for a project to make noise – that’s not up for debate. But as mentioned above, what sets Sui apart from the rest is the team behind it.

A solid investment in Mysten Labs is enticing, while the work experience gained with Novi is undoubtedly valuable – being behind the scenes as Facebook increasingly transitioned into a metavers-centric company undoubtedly offers a unique vantage point.

The press release also features rave reviews from the makers of Pranzerdogs, a Solana NFT gaming project, and SoWork, the builders of the Workplace Metaverse.

Aside from a superficial reading, it’s hard to speculate further about Sui at this point, especially given the volatile nature of the industry. But it is rare for a crypto project at this early stage to cause as much intrigue as Sui. I am excited to follow their journey.

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