Andreessen Horowitz, the firm where Marc is co-founder and partner is making some big bets on bitcoin. The founder of Netscape and his firm have made investments in the sector to the tune of about $50 million, which according the the Wall Street Journal is more than any other firm has put into the digital currency industry. The funds have been drawn from over $1.5 billion of the firm’s capital, needless to say, Andreessen Horowitz has a positive outlook on the future of digital currency despite the recent setbacks. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Palo Alto based firm ‘plans to invest hundreds of millions of additional dollars over the next few years from other funds.’
It may sound like Andreessen and his firm are aimlessly throwing millions at a very young and speculative industry, however; the firm has without doubt done its due diligence. The firm and its investors were initially very skeptical of digital currency. Andreessen figured that even if he did want to dive into the world of bitcoin, it would present a degree of challenges, one of those being actually locating investors willing enough to take the risk. However; Andreessen found quite the opposite as investors were waiting in line to jump in the digital currency world.
Andreessen first toyed with the idea of his firm investing in bitcoin at the end of the annual meeting of the firm’s advisory board at a prominent hotel in Menlo Park, California. He approached his colleagues with the same skepticism he shared for the digital currency:
“At first blush, you’re going to think we’re out of our minds,” Mr. Andreessen told the group of several investment groups on the firm’s advisory board, “but we’re going to invest in a fake mathematical currency.”
While many have been comparing bitcoin to being as significant as the advent of the internet, this is something Andreessen is all to familiar with:
“I’m having déjà vu,” Andreessen said. ‘”[bitcoin] is weird and scary and nerdy, and it’s full of scams and frauds, just like the Internet was.”
Andreessen’s investments thus far include a $25 million dollar infusion into coinbase, and a smaller amount in the alt-currency know as Ripple, which has surpassed litecoin as the second highest market cap among digital currencies at just under $1.3 billion.
It’s no mystery that Andreessen is by far one of bitcoin’s most highly regarded evangelists. His recent tweet regarding bitcoin described it as an “important tech breakthrough.” which he followed up by tweeting “the ideas stand on their own, the math stands on its own, the code stands on its own.”
While Andreessen is the first to admit he is no mathematician, he has consulted with those who are:
“I’m not a serious mathematician, but I know a lot of really good mathematicians and computer scientists and reached out to them,” he said.
Princeton University Investment Company president, Andrew Golden was among the skeptics of bitcoin until his research proved him otherwise:
“This was a smart team telling us we need to look at it in a different way.” he said.
Much like the internet, Andreessen sees bitcoin as something that will gain acceptance overtime as the political barriers begin to diminish along with the negative connotations often associated with the digital currency.
Read More: wsj.com