Renown venture capital and investment advisory firm, Andreessen Horowitz, held a conference on cryptocurrencies to which they invited companies and regulators who are dealing with this new industry. Marc Andreessen discussed the importance of cryptocurrencies, likening it to how the internet was viewed in its early days, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2019.
From Investor to Advisor
Earlier this year, Andreessen Horowitz gave up its venture capital status to be classified more broadly as a Registered Investment Advisor. This move gave them more flexibility to invest in asset classes but also puts them under the purview of SEC regulation.
The firm set up a conference earlier this year in an attempt to sway regulators into understanding the value proposition behind cryptocurrencies. Co-founder of the firm, Marc Andreessen, spoke at length about how cryptocurrency solves the issue of micropayments.
The ex-CFTC chairman, J. Christopher Giancarlo, had reportedly warned venture capitalists and companies present that it wouldn’t be possible to ignore cryptocurrency regulation.
But nobody was trying to convince regulators to consider not regulating cryptocurrency, the entire issue is around uncertainty and their ability to reasonably regulate the technology with suppressing a majority of its benefits.
Andreessen Horowitz is advocating for change through the National Venture Capital Association rather than direct lobbying. The firm wants regulators to allow venture capitalists to be able to invest in digital assets and tokens without having to give up their unregistered status.
Investors Need Clarity
Blockchain Capital’s Bart Stephens was quoted saying “the United States regulatory environment has gone from uncertain to hostile”. This represents the sentiment echoed by a majority of institutional and retail investors in the space.
No matter how much the technology develops, adoption will be limited unless regulators acknowledge that this is something revolutionary that isn’t going away. In fact, they have a knack for being extremely critical of early technology – to an extent that is unhealthy rather than just skeptical.
Investors and bureaucrats across the globe are recognizing and accepting the benefits of cryptocurrency. That along with the fact that Bitcoin has the highest risk-adjusted return of any asset across 10 years speak for themselves.
Venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz and niche firms like Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, and Blockchain Capital are leading the charge for spreading the good word. The fate of this industry lies in the ability of regulators to understand the implications of this technology.