Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen continues to send mixed signals on Bitcoin at a time when it remains unclear how supportive the influential firms he has founded are of the technology.
In a new interview with Bloomberg Tuesday, Andreessen, co-founder of the venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz, discussed the work of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, calling it “one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.”
“Most people, when they invent something this profoundly breakthrough, don’t realize how important it is at the time they invent it. Whoever this person, or thing, AI, government agency, is—they knew the importance of what it was from the very beginning such that they knew it was important to hide their identity,” he said.
Earlier this year, A16z raised nearly $2 billion for a crypto fund, but at the time gave no indications as to whether it would invest in Bitcoin or projects built on its top layer networks like Lightning, which is currently a driving force in El Salvador’s economy.
Instead, in his full remarks, Andreesseen, one of Bitcoin’s earliest backers as a payments technology, appeared more interested in altcoins.
When asked about cryptocurrencies, Andreessen stated, “Many of the smartest people in computer science are going into this field,” he said, adding that it represented “a new kind of financial system” where people are “able to form trust relationships in an untrusted environment.”
According to Andreessen he now manages “about $18 billion today.”
When asked what makes cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin successful investments, Adreessen responded:
“There’s a fundamental technological breakthrough that has actually happened—an area of computer science called distributed consensus. It’s the ability for a lot of people and software on the internet to be able to form trust relationships in an untrusted environment.”
He continued, “Money is one application. There are many other applications, many other things that people are going to be able to do with this technology. Many of the smartest people in computer science are going into this field and they’re pushing it forward at a really rapid rate. So, to us, it looks like it’s just the eighth or ninth fundamental architecture breakthrough transformation happening in the tech industry. And we take it very seriously because of that.”
Andreessen’s comments mirror those of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler yesterday. Both understand the immaculate conception origin story of Bitcoin but appear not to understand the lasting importance and change the technology is bringing to the world.
Indeed, when asked where investors should store their wealth, Marc Andreessen recommends they should, “Put it in an S&P 500 Index Fund,
“Don’t get fancy.”