a16z Stacks Crypto Team with Veteran Financial Regulators
The greater digital asset industry is one of the fastest growing spaces, recently garnering attention from massive corporations, institutions, and retail investors alike. Consistently under scrutiny from traditional investors and many regulatory authorities, the crypto world has always been seen as both mysterious and elusive.
Despite this, investors are swarming into digital assets. After raising billions for a new crypto fund, a16z seems well positioned to take on the regulatory challenge.
a16z Making Waves in the Digital Asset Space
Late last week, venture capital firm, Adreesen Horowitz (a16z) announced the launch of their third crypto fund valued at an astounding $2.2 billion. This investment in itself is enough to propel the crypto industry forward. As large companies continue to search for ways to increase their exposure to crypto, it is anticipated that similar investment opportunities of this scale will appear in the near future.
Currently a16z lists “crypto” as one of its eight focus areas. This is in addition to Fintech, displaying the firm’s interest in the tech space. With the new fund, a16z has over $3 billion worth of crypto funds in total.
Adreesen Horowitz has investments in many very innovative companies. Their most well known investment is Coinbase, which went public through a direct listing just a few months ago. Other standout investments include Uniswap, Solana, and Maker, among others.
By launching such a major fund, a16z cements its investor base even further into the unknown regulatory atmosphere surrounding digital assets. One can note from recent developments, for example, countries are splitting on their opinions over integrating cryptocurrencies into their financial landscape. With this in mind, a16z made a few key hires of some of the most influential people in terms of digital asset regulation.
a16z Crypto Team is All About Regulation
a16z is centering their crypto team around regulation, employing some of the top key figures in terms of the laws that govern digital assets. First, general partner Katie Haun was the lead prosecutor to investigate the Mt. Gox hack and Silk Road investigation fraud. Haun spent over ten years as Assistant U.S. Attorney & Digital Currency Coordinator for the Department of Justice. She created the government’s first cryptocurrency task force, making her an incredible asset for Andreessen Horowitz.
Next, operating partner Anthony Albanese earned a degree in law and has spent the majority of his career in financial services regulation. Most recently, Albanese was the chief regulatory officer at the New York Stock Exchange. His expertise in traditional asset regulation will surely be useful when it comes to analyzing how digital assets will be regulated around the world.
In addition, the announcement of Crypto Fund III also included the hiring of new advisors. Among these are Bill Hinman, Brent McIntosh, and Tomicah Tilleman. Hinman was the SEC’s head in deciding regulations around digital assets. McIntosh managed the international Financial Stability Board’s push to accept digital asset regulation. Tilleman was the Chairman of the Global Blockchain Business Council and has worked with Hillary Clinton and President Biden.
This group comprises a team of the world’s top players when it comes to crypto laws, depicting how a16z knows that regulation is key for digital asset growth.
With regulations being a major aspect of the current digital asset scene, a16z is clearly looking to the future by placing such an emphasis on regulatory familiarity.
With so much regulatory experience on the VC’s team, Andreessen Horowitz is well-positioned to predict how the ongoing regulatory battles will play out. This is likely to lead to more sound investments and better growth for the fund.
Adreessen Horowitz is sure to be ahead of competitors when it comes to understanding crypto laws. How important will this be for future business in digital assets? Let us know in the comments below.