A16z’s crypto ideas list for 2024 spotlights AI, gaming
2023 saw a decline in a16z crypto funding, but the behemoth VC firm teased what it’s excited for next year
a16z head of policy Brian Quintenz | Permissionless II for Blockworks
The tech-focused venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz released its “big ideas” list for 2024. For the second year in a row, the list was capped off with insights from a16z’s crypto arm.
A16z crypto’s set of big ideas show multiple references to artificial intelligence (AI), gaming and digital security.
A group including general partner Ali Yahya wrote about the potential for crypto to “democratize” AI innovation. Decentralized markets can let anyone contribute and be compensated for working on artificial intelligence models, moving the training of the extremely powerful tools beyond the hands of just a few tech giants, they wrote.
Read more: Crypto, please leave AI alone
Investing partner Carra Wu also wrote about AI, arguing that the advent of AI-generated video games will create a need for guarantees that game models are uncorrupted and neutral.
“The most important thing that crypto offers is such guarantees,” Wu said.
General partner Ariana Simpson said “play to earn” games are becoming “play-and-earn,” meaning users can play crypto-enabled games without financialization clouding the experience.
In the realm of security, chief technology officer Eddy Lazzarin said cryptographically-generated “passkeys” can make website and app sign-ins more secure. Furthermore, crypto projects are making formal verification, or the use of mathematical models to check a program’s security, easier for smart contract developers, writes research engineering partner Daniel Reynaud.
Meanwhile, general counsel Miles Jennings made reference to his recent essay on how Machiavellian principles can improve DAOs.
Andreessen Horowitz has made sizable investments in several crypto projects including Yuga Labs, Solana and Uniswap. However, its exuberance in crypto investing seems to have cooled this year. The firm’s thirty largest crypto-related fundraises all came before 2023, according to funding aggregator CryptoRank.
Some crypto fans were rankled when Marc Andreessen’s “Techno-Optimist Manifesto” from October contained zero references to crypto.
Updated Dec. 27, 2023 at 10:17 am ET: An earlier version of this article said the 2024 list contained no references to zero-knowledge proofs. A16z’s post contains a section on SNARKs.
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