Andreessen Horowitz Says Crypto Can Shift Power Away From Big Internet Companies: Report

Months after it established a $4.5 billion crypto fund, the venture capital firm also said it sees the crypto market slump as an investment opportunity.

AccessTimeIconAug 23, 2022 at 9:39 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:54 p.m. UTC

Chris Dixon, the founder of Andreessen Horowitz's (a16z) crypto arm, said the venture capital firm sees Web3 and cryptocurrencies as having the ability to disrupt the power imbalance created by big internet companies such as Facebook (META) and Twitter (TWTR).

In an interview on FT's Tech Tonic podcast, Dixon said that power on the internet is currently held by a small group of companies.

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  • "I don’t think this is a good outcome," Dixon said. "The idea of having the internet controlled by five companies is very bad for entrepreneurs and bad for VCs.”

    Since the start of the crypto arm in 2018, a16z has raised more than $7.6 billion to invest in crypto and blockchain companies. That includes its fourth crypto fund, established in May with $4.5 billion even as the market tumbled. Bitcoin has fallen from last November's record high of $69,000 to as low as $17,000 in June.

    Dixon said he views the slide as a chance to make more investments: “In venture capital, you’re hopefully buying low and selling high ... so my experience has been downturns have been opportunities.”

    Several leading names in traditional finance are beginning to use blockchain technology on a daily basis. On Monday, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC), which processes all trades in the U.S. stock market, said it is handling hundreds of thousands of settlement transactions a day on its private Project Ion blockchain, while French bank BNP Paribas is using JPMorgan's blockchain network, Onyx.

    Blockchain technology offers safeguards by writing rules of code into a smart contract, Dixon said.

    “What we can do to create a better internet is create new systems where the network effects accrue to the community instead of to companies.”

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    Oliver Knight

    Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.