Proponents of the Web3 movement argue that decentralization shifts the balance of power from centralized platforms to users.

But critics warn that companies like Andreessen are using new technology to create a new generation of Internet gatekeepers.

Molly White, software engineer and prominent Web3 critic, said:

Venture capital firm co-founder Marc Andreessen is one of the longest-serving board members of Facebook owner Meta. The company made $78 million ($113.6 million) from its seed investment in Instagram when he was acquired by Facebook in 2012, a return of 300%.

Andreessen also invested $80 million in Twitter before going public, and was one of Elon Musk’s financial backers when he first bid on the platform earlier this year.

Dixon believes blockchain technology provides protection against anti-competitive activity by building rules into smart contracts written in computer code.

“of course, [business people] It creates monopolies and big companies and seeks to maximize shareholder value,” he added. “What we can do to create a better Internet is to create new systems in which the impact of the network is on the community, not the enterprise.”

Since the crypto fund launched in 2018, Andreessen has raised over $7.6 billion to invest in cryptocurrencies and related technology companies.

Instead of receiving traditional stocks, we are investing in tokens, a type of tradable digital asset built on blockchain.

“It’s a completely different kind of economic model in Web3, where most of the investments are in tokens rather than companies,” said Dixon. “And that was a big change. This is the big reason why we created another crypto fund… we need a completely different legal structure.”

Andreessen’s portfolio includes cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, NFT marketplace OpenSea, and FlowCarbon, a crypto carbon credit venture founded by former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann.

Dixon said cryptocurrencies are an opportunity for new entrepreneurs and startups as companies such as Amazon and Google focus on other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

“I have never seen evidence of that [dominant] Companies will step up,” he added. “Compared to areas such as AI and virtual reality where incumbents are investing heavily, there is a much wider area for our start-ups to operate.”

The cryptocurrency’s value has been steadily declining since the end of last year, but the market plunged in May after the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin.

Market volatility pushed the price of Bitcoin to pre-pandemic levels and caused many cryptocurrency lenders and hedge funds to fail.

Dixon said the recession has made Web3 more attractive to invest in.

“There are a lot of great entrepreneurs in this space, a lot of great ideas, and prices are low,” Dixon said.

“In venture capital, you expect to buy low and sell high. So in my experience, the recession was an opportunity.”

Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly

financial times


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