Chris Sealey · 12 hours ago · 2 min read
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Andreessen Horowitz lobbying financial watchdogs to loosen crypto regulations
Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital company focused on crypto innovation, brought several Washington regulators together to promote crypto adoption and discuss regulation. The May event includes representatives from the U.S. Treasury, SEC, and CFTC alongside some of the most influential blockchain companies, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Behind the scenes, a16z is quietly fighting for crypto
Andreessen Horowitz was one of the first to invest in tech giants such as Facebook, Airbnb, and GitHub. Now, the venture fund is leading the way in crypto innovation. Following its success in the traditional startups, the Silicon Valley firm launched a $300 million fund for crypto investments, spearheading the crypto revolution.
A report from The Wall Street Journal revealed that alongside its hefty investments, the company is quietly working on improving crypto regulations in the U.S. According to the Sept. 2 report, the company held a full-day, private conference in San Francisco in late May, where they brought together Washington regulators and heads of major crypto and blockchain projects.
The meeting was supposed to act as an ice-breaker and facilitate the much-needed discussion between those governing the financial sector and those set to disrupt it.
Marc Andreessen, the founder of a16z, held an optimistic speech at the beginning of the event and called for regulators to be more open-minded toward cryptocurrencies. The crypto industry today resembles the internet in its early days, he said, adding that it has the potential to disrupt the world in the same way.
Regulators still not convinced about the benefits of crypto
Sources present during the meeting revealed that it was attended by officials from the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as well as some of the largest crypto firms.
The main takeaway from the meeting, set in Andreessen’s opening remarks, was that cryptocurrencies have the potential to solve some of the internet’s biggest challenges. The Wall Street Journal reported that Andreessen said if Washington adopted less stringent regulations then problems such as user privacy concerns could be resolved.
But, as promising as the meeting looked, it seems like it will take more than one sit-down to convince Washington’s financial watchdogs to loosen up on crypto.
None of them seemed to have responded positively to Andreessen Horrowitz’s lobbying. J. Christopher Giancarlo, who was chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (until stepping down in July) said he warned Andreessen Horowitz that regulation of crypto could not be brushed aside, Wall Street Journal reported.
“Some of the things you learned from your older VCs, this won’t transfer,” he said.
The Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said that crypto startups need to focus more on compliance with global AML regulations, indicating that the industry still has a long way to go before watchdogs are more accepting toward cryptocurrencies.