a16z reveals lobbying plan: Throw money at tech-forward politicians

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is hoping to push pro-crypto and AI regulation forward with seemingly new strategy: Throwing money at politicians.

“If a candidate supports an optimistic technology-enabled future, we are for them. If they want to choke off important technologies, we are against them,” wrote Ben Horowitz, one of the firm’s founders, in a Dec. 14 post, adding:

Horowitz said it would be the “first time” a16z pursues the lobbying route to promote tech-friendly politicians. However, it reportedly held a fundraiser for a New York congressman in October 2022, according to Forbes.

Horowitz, in particular, highlighted blockchain-based technologies and artificial intelligence as two technologies that can make for a better world.

Decentralized technologies “will create a fairer, more inclusive economy” than what the centralized Big Tech firms have achieved, Horowitz noted, while AI “has the potential to uplift all of humanity” to a standard of living never experienced before.

Avalanche, Coinbase, Dapper Labs, Lido Finance, Nansen, OpenSea, Uniswap and Worldcoin are some of the cryptocurrency startups that a16z has invested in.

Horowitz stressed that he isn’t completely against regulation: “High quality regulation can enable an industry to thrive while protecting consumers,” but time and time again, we’ve seen “politicized regulation” kill industries, he said.

Horowitz said “big tech” firms have been well represented in Washington D.C. but are more concerned with “preserving their monopolies” than advocating for fair regulation.

Related: Paris Hilton, a16z back IP ownership network Story Protocol

The tech-focused investment firm wrote its own “techno-optimist manifesto” in October, which drew criticism from across the board for sharing several far-fetched opinions.

One of a16z’s opinions was that “any deceleration of AI [by way of regulation] will cost lives.”

Finance columnist Jemima Kelly of the Financial Times was one of many who disagreed, arguing that “unrestrained technological ‘accelerationism’ is a bad idea.”

More than 2,600 tech leaders and researchers, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak signed a petition to “pause” AI developments in March 2023, sharing concerns that AI can pose “profound risks to society and humanity.”

Magazine: JPMorgan sees higher BTC price potential, a16z unveils $4.5 billion crypto fund and PayPal hints at more crypto involvement: Hodler’s Digest, May 22-28

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