Crypto is a fundamental technological breakthrough, a16z co-founder says
The most exciting technological breakthroughs are those that are fundamental shifts in the way we think about and interact with technology. In short, they’re paradigm shifts. Bitcoin is one such breakthrough, and we’ve been lucky enough to see it develop over the last six years.
Wall Street has been paying a lot of attention to cryptocurrency lately. This may seem surprising, given that many people consider cryptocurrency to be a fad. But there are a number of reasons why Wall Street is interested in digital currencies, including the fact that tokens can be listed on publicly traded exchanges, bringing in new money and thus diluting the value of existing stocks.
One of the most important things to realize when dealing with any technological advancement is that the world is always changing. New innovations are always being churned out, and they are often the result of ideas that were once considered ludicrous. The world is constantly changing, and so are humans. New discoveries are always being made, and some of them have a profound effect on the way we live.
Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), said that crypto and blockchain are the most important new architectural shift in the computer sector.
Andreessen reframed the argument in a Bloomberg Wealth interview with David Rubenstein, shifting away from the question of whether Bitcoin (BTC) — and crypto in general — is an endurable investment opportunity.
“Crypto reminds me of the blind men and the elephant story. It is touched from several angles. They get carried away, excited, and sidetracked by these many topics,” Andreessen joked. The most important element of the cryptocurrency for a16z, however, is that it is seen as a fundamental architectural shift in the digital sector, attracting many of the brightest minds in computer science.
“We see [crypto] as a technical advancement. There has been a profound technical breakthrough. Distributed consensus is a branch of computer science […] Money is one application […], but it’s far from the only one.”
Rather of concentrating on Bitcoin as a currency, Andreessen emphasized the blockchain’s ability to allow interactions between actors and software on the internet to establish trust connections in an untrustworthy environment:
“These are new computer types. This is when things start to become a little more subtle. Bitcoin is a global internet computer that is distributed over hundreds of thousands of physical machines. It’s a transaction processing system that operates without the need of a central server. […] It’s a different kind of financial system.”
For all of these reasons, Andreessen Horowitz is taking cryptocurrency extremely seriously. In late June, A16z announced Crypto Fund III, a $2.2-billion venture fund co-led by Andreessen Horowitz general partners Chris Dixon and Katie Haun, as part of their commitment to blockchain development in 2021. “From early seed-stage initiatives to fully established later-stage networks,” the fund will invest in blockchain projects at any level of development.
Former BitGo employee will assist in the deployment of Andreessen Horowitz’s $2.2 billion crypto fund
A16z has managed a number of significant blockchain fundraising efforts, including the $314 million private token sale for Solana Labs in June. It had previously led the $23 million fundraising in March for nonfungible token marketplace OpenSea, a $28 million investment round in Aleo in April, and a $40 million raise in May for Talos. Dfinity’s $105 million financing round was led by a16z in 2018.
A16z is the biggest investor of Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange located in the United States. The venture capital company holds $9.7 billion worth of stock on the exchange.
If you’re a crypto investor, you’ve probably read a lot of articles on the subject, even in recent weeks. (And if you haven’t, here’s a good resource .) But if you’re not too familiar with the space, how do you decide what to read?. Read more about a16z crypto resources and let us know what you think.
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