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The venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz has officially announced the launch of a $2.2 billion fund focused on the crypto industry.

The Silicon Valley venture firm, founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz in 2019, announced the new $2.2 billion cryptocurrency-focused fund, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Crypto Fund III, co-led by Andreessen Horowitz general partners Chris Dixon and Katie Haun, plans to invest capital in various blockchain and digital asset start-ups that are contributing to the new decentralized economy.

“This fund allows us to find the next generation of visionary crypto founders, and invest in the most exciting areas of crypto,” said Andreessen Horowitz’s announcement. “We invest in all stages, from early seed-stage projects to fully developed later-stage networks.”

The company’s first cryptocurrency-focused fund was launched in 2018, during the so-called “crypto winter.” That year, the value of Bitcoin lost about 80% from the peak in 2017. The latest fund also comes at another bearish moment for the cryptocurrency.

Haun and Dixon acknowledged the digital asset’s volatility but claimed, “Prices may fluctuate but innovation continues to increase through each cycle.”

“We believe that the next wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto,” the partners said, pointing that they’re “radically optimistic about crypto’s potential.”

Earlier, the venture firm was known for stakes on social network companies, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Lyft. Andreessen Horowitz made its first step into the digital asset world in 2013 via Coinbase.

Andreessen Horowitz is also known as an early investor in digital currency Libra backed by Facebook. Now, it is known as Diem and has gone through several rebranding facing opposition from the regulators.

The firm has shared in various crypto companies, such as OpeanSea and Dapper Labs, starting the NFT craze recently, and claimed it plans to focus on decentralized finance (DeFi). “DeFi” is a term used to describe traditional finance services, like loaning and banking but built on the same technology that maintains cryptocurrencies. The firm declared its plans to hold these crypto investments for 10 years or more.

Additionally, Andreessen Horowitz said Thursday that it hired many new employees for the fund. The list of the new workers includes Bill Hinman, a former director at the U.S. SEC;  Rachel Horowitz, a former communication lead at Google, Twitter, and Facebook; and Tomicah Tillemann, the new global head of policy, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.

The team also joined Alex Price, a founder of a quantitative research firm later acquired by Genesis Capital, and Brent McIntosh, a recent Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/technology/andreesen-horowitz-unveils-22-bln-crypto-fund-2021-06-24/

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