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Andreessen Horowitz Tackles Washington’s Crypto Cops in Unusual Private Sitdown

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CCN Markets: Angel investment and venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has taken an “unusual” measure in the fight against Washington’s clampdown on cryptocurrency. To secure its stake within the emerging crypto industry, the VC wined and dined officials from the Treasury Department and numerous regulatory agencies.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the lavish event opened with remarks from the firm’s CEO, Marc Andreessen, who addressed the advent of the cryptocurrency industry, analogizing its nascent rise with that of the early internet. For Andreessen, crypto offers a solution to some of the internet’s most significant problems, particularly those pertaining to privacy concerns.

On Deaf Ears

Unfortunately, it appears that despite the opulent reception, Washington wasn’t all too receptive. The former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, J. Christopher Giancarlo, urged that regulation shouldn’t be undermined, suggesting that Andreessen was looking to subvert due diligence. “Some of the things you learned from your older VCs, this won’t transfer,” he explained.

Andreessen Horowitz, Christopher Giancarlo, crypto, cryptocurrencyOutgoing CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo, affectionately known as ‘Crypto Dad’, was at the private hosting. | Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

However, the agenda of the VC was wholly evident. Far from an attempt to lessen regulatory scrutiny, it seems the function was to protect the firm’s interests. Attendee Kevin Werbach, an entrepreneur and academic, affirmed this, noting the event wasn’t “purely out of altruism.”

“Everyone understands they are investors in the space and have viewpoints about what the regulatory environment should look like.”

Andreessen Horowitz Plays the Influencer

The event was dubbed “unusual” by regulatory experts since the VC managed to gather such an illustrious audience. While these types of gatherings are typical within the industry, they are usually under the guise of public conferences.

Lee Reiners, executive director of the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke University, believes that this little more than an attempt to sway regulation.

“For one VC that has such a clear monetary interest in getting favorable regulatory treatment for crypto assets to host the event in a private, invite-only setting, it does strike me as unusual and untoward from a public standpoint.”

Regardless, Andreessen Horowitz remains adamant in its goal to clear the fog surrounding cryptocurrency regulation; and with profits at stake, this is a stance which is unlikely to shift.