Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a US venture capital company, says it is expanding to the UK because crypto laws are clearer there.
In a new announcement, Chris Dixon, who started Andreessen’s $7.6 billion a16z crypto fund, says that crypto can only work if governments set clear rules for digital assets.
The news comes just days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance and Coinbase, the two biggest cryptocurrency platforms in the world, for breaking their rules.
“Over the last year, it has become clear that blockchains and the software movement around them – usually called crypto or Web3 – can only succeed with a clear regulatory regime that provides an open pathway for startups while also protecting consumers from fraud and manipulation. This regulation should be aimed at stamping out the ‘casino’ culture that has developed around crypto while also allowing constructive applications to reach their full potential.”
The news says that a16z will open its first office outside of the United States in London later this year. This will be the company’s first office that will focus on crypto startups. Sriram Krishnan, who is a general partner at the company, will run the new office. It will also be in charge of projects to help crypto grow in the area, such as starting a Crypto Startup School and helping blockchain clubs at local colleges.
In a statement, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak praised the official opening and said that his government is working hard to make the UK a global hub for web3.
“As we work to make the UK a science and technology superpower, we need to be open to new ideas like Web3, which is driven by blockchain technology. This will help start-ups grow here and help the economy grow.
The key to that success is having the right rules and regulations in place to protect customers and encourage new ideas. Even though there is still a lot of work to be done, I’m motivated to find new uses for this technology and make the UK the Web3 center of the world.
That’s why I’m so happy that the world’s best investor, Andreessen Horowitz, has chosen to open their first foreign office in the UK. It’s a sign of how good our universities, talent, and business environment are.”
Dixon says that the UK’s crypto regulations need “more work,” but he praises the country for being ready to “work with the industry to create policies that encourage startups to pursue decentralization.”
The announcement came after the Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) released a report saying that the UK has between a year and a year and a half to come up with clear crypto regulations if it wants to lead the global digital asset market.