Billionaire tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen says that the proliferation of Web 3.0 and blockchain technology reminds him of the early days of the Internet in the late 1900s. He is known as the co-founder of the blockchain-based VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Andreessen appeared on a podcast alongside investment partner and colleague Chris Dixon and said that the growing adoption and rapid development of Web 3.0 appear unusually similar to the rush of activity that marked the beginning of the Internet adoption.
Andreessen urged that he would not have made such statements casually and that it was the first time he’d said anything of this sort:
“This is the first time I’ve made a statement indicating the similarity between Web 3.0 and the Internet. If you go back through all my earlier statements, one could imagine with my front-line experience that I could have said this like 48 times but I’ve never made a solid comparison before.”
“I’ve never made these statements about any other technology because I just wanted people to know that I don’t make these comparisons lightly,” he added.
While the similarities between the adoption path of both the Internet and blockchain technology have been made by crypto specialists several times, Andreessen’s experience gives him the authority to make such statements.
He said that the Web 3.0 ecosystem is getting huge traction from the world’s smartest developers and architects:
“The easiest way to consider this is, when you get something like this that has a movement, which has this kind of collective impact, and is attracting many of the world’s smartest people, the criticism plays out differently than that the critics think.”
Previously, the crypto and digital assets ecosystem have received a lot of criticism but Andreessen said that Web 3.0 entrepreneurs see these “issues” as lucrative opportunities. “The critics make this long list of issues related to cryptos and digital assets, but you’re getting these entrepreneurs who are making the best out of the ecosystem. What happens is, they see these problems as opportunities,” he said.
He added, “It’d be like if you had your own project that was spiraling downhill and you get all this criticism, and then all of the world’s best architects and developers appeared the next day to fix the project.” “All of a sudden your project is the best thing in the world. And this is actually possible.”
Andreessen said that Web 3.0 is the bridge that connects to the Internet as we know it, bringing transparency, integrity, and financial utility to the ecosystem: “We were missing transparency, sovereignty, and permission. We were missing the ability to exchange money, and develop trustworthy relationships. Transact, store money, and then have all other economic arrangements that the world wants to have. This includes insurance, loans, and contracts, amongst others.”
Andreessen Horowitz’ (a16z) Investment Timeline
Previously known for its early investments, Andreessen Horowitz initially entered the cryptocurrency sector with a big investment in Coinbase back in 2013 and has since made investments in many crypto-based companies called OpenSea, Yuga Labs, Polychain Capital, Avalanche, and Solana. Last week, the VC firm announced the launch of its fourth crypto fund of $4.5 billion, bringing the total investments of the firm into crypto businesses to a little over $7.6 billion.
The VC firm launched the latest crypto fund to power the “golden era” of Web 3.0 development, according to the letter penned by Managing Partner Chris Dixon. Meanwhile, Andreessen ended the podcast with a clear explanation for why his firm is investing so much money into the crypto industry: “We could actually visualize the global economy operating on blockchain technology in the next 30 to 50 years.”