A16z, the cryptocurrency arm of leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has announced it has hired former CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz to advise the company on crypto investing guidelines.
Katie Haun, General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz, spoke about the development, saying the appointment is part of a wider effort to ensure the company has regulatory and political support.
“We are grateful that Brian will join the team to support our work on translating crypto for the political community. He understands both how crypto technology works and how the CFTC thinks about the problem. His ability to translate between the two will be central to the success of a16z’s crypto policy program and our portfolio companies, “said Haun.
In his new role, Quintenz will serve on many of the former US federal regulators currently with Andreessen Horowitz, including former Senior Advisor to President Biden Tomicah Tillemann, former Treasury Secretary Brent McIntosh, and former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Bill Hinman.
Andreessen’s move in hiring such prominent former regulators signals that the venture capital company is stepping up to better address the emerging regulatory challenges in the U.S. cryptocurrency scene and to meet the more aggressive demands of U.S. regulators this year.
SEC ready to regulate crypto
Andreessen Horowitz is a leading venture capital firm that has invested in several large cryptocurrency companies including Uniswap, Solana, Robinhood, CryptoKitties, Coinbase, Earn.com, and others. In recent years, a16z, recognized as one of the most influential venture firms in the world, has made several investments in the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) space.
In May, Andreessen Horowitz wanted to raise a fund of up to $ 1 billion from investors to invest in cryptocurrencies and crypto startups.
Quintenz’s hiring comes at a time when U.S. financial regulators are considering regulating the fast-growing cryptocurrency sector.
U.S. financial regulators prepare to take a more active role in regulating the $ 1.5 trillion cryptocurrency market as concerns grow that a lack of proper oversight could harm investors and consumers.
Earlier this month, the US SEC began investigating the largest DeFi exchange, Uniswap, to examine how investors use the exchange and how the platform is being marketed.
Two days ago, Coinbase caught the SEC’s attention. On Tuesday, September 7th, Coinbase CEO Brain Armstrong went public with the battle, saying the SEC had now decided on his company’s proposed loan product. Coinbase wants to launch a revenue generating product called Coinbase Lend to compete with popular decentralized (DeFi) products like Compound and Aave. But the SEC claims that the Coinbase Lend product is security and would therefore sue Coinbase if it goes ahead and starts the Lend program.
Coinbase Exchange and Uniswap Decentralized Exchange are some of A16z’s most notable investments.
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