Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen is weighing in on how the rise of crypto and blockchain compares to the internet’s early phases.
In an interview with the Bankless podcast, the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz says he’s never before compared any new development in tech to the rise of the internet until now.
“This is the only time I’ve ever said this is like the internet. If you go back through all my historical statements, one could imagine that with my experience I could have said this like 48 times. I’ve never made the comparison before.
I’ve never said it about any other kind of technology. I never said it about anything else between the original internet and then the emergence of crypto, because I just wanted people to know like I don’t take the comparison lightly.”
Andreessen explains that beyond the technology itself, blockchain is bringing together many of the world’s greatest minds to solve problems and defy critics.
“The easiest way to think about it is, when you get something like this that has a movement, that has this sort of collective effect and has a movement behind it, and is attracting many of the world’s smartest people to work on it, basically the criticisms play out differently than the critics think.
The critics make this long list of all of the problems, but you’re getting these genius engineers and entrepreneurs [who] flood into the space. What happens is, they look at that list of problems as a list of opportunities…
It’d be like if you had a house project [that] was going sideways and you get all these complaints, and then all of the world’s best architects and master builders showed up the next day to fix your house. All of a sudden you’ve got the best house in the world. This can actually happen and in this kind of world.”
Andreessen, whose venture capital firm just launched a $4.5 billion digital assets fund, says that Web3 is bringing trust and economic utility to the internet, something that was missing in the late 1990s.
“What were we missing? The other side. We were therefore missing trust, authority, permission. We were missing the ability to transact with people for trusted relationships, transact, send money, store money, and then have all the other economic arrangements that the world wants to have [such as] loans and contracts and insurance and all these all these other things.
We just didn’t have any of that, and so there is this other side to it. The way I think about it is, Web3 is bringing trust to an untrusted network.”
The entrepreneur concludes by contemplating the long-term effects of Web 3.0.
“We could actually imagine the entire global economy running on the blockchain like 30 or 50 years from now. Everything cuts over and what would it mean for that to happen, and how would people have to feel about that? That’s a very different kind of problem than the one that we had.”
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