Venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is looking abroad to open more crypto investments to avoid over-regulation at home.
- The firm announced on Sunday that it will open a branch of its a16z crypto fund in London.
- The move comes following intensifying heat against the crypto market from the U.S. federal government, making it more difficult for crypto companies to operate.
- It also marks the first international expansion for the world-famous investment firm.
- Countries like the UK offer more comprehensive legal frameworks for crypto operations, potentially turning the island nation into a future home for crypto companies.
- Andreessen Horowitz will open the office late this year but has already announced its investment in crypto and artificial intelligence startup Gensyn for $43 million.
Why It’s Important
Due in part to hostility from the federal government, the crypto community has faced greater frustration and scrutiny in recent months as agencies pressure greater restrictions against crypto. The White House, the Department of Justice, the SEC, the Federal Reserve, and Congress have all argued that crypto is dangerous, replete with fraud, and ought to be cracked down upon, particularly following the destructive collapse of FTX in November.
“What’s going on now with the Biden administration is they’re basically just trying to kill off the technology,” argues a16z general partner Chris Dixon.
Crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance face heavy scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission, with both companies facing extensive lawsuits and severe allegations.
As we previously discussed, crypto miners are struggling in the U.S. due to a lack of transparency in the government’s regulatory framework, which leaves many crypto investments in a legal grey area. This has led many leading crypto firms to move to The Bahamas or Singapore. The Winklevoss twins recently announced plans to move derivatives platforms overseas. The UK is hoping to soak up many of these investments.
“As we cement the UK’s place as a science and tech superpower, we must embrace new innovations like Web3, powered by blockchain technology, which will enable start-ups to flourish here and grow the economy. That’s why I am thrilled world-leading investor Andreessen Horowitz has decided to open their first international office in the UK,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tells Fortune.