One of the pioneers of the World Wide Web, Marc Andreessen, perhaps better known today as the co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), believes that the current moment for Web3 is like the early days of the internet.
Who is Marc Andreessen?
Back in 1993, Andreessen created the web browser Mosaic, which was the first graphical web browser to take off. The following year, he launched Netscape Navigator, among the most popular browsers of the 1990s. More recently, through his work at his crypto-focused VC firm, Andreessen has become an advocate for blockchain technology, frequently making the rounds on interview shows to explain his views on emerging tech and the positions of his firm.
In a recent episode of the Bankless podcast, Andreessen stated that the current pace of activity in the Web3 space reminds him of the internet’s commercial beginnings, which he saw firsthand back in the 1990s. He added that he has never made this comparison before, despite having been around many different early-stage technologies, explaining he does not toss off the comparison lightly.
Andreessen argues the case for Web3 longevity
Andreessen argues that in addition to the users rushing into Web3, it’s the developer enthusiasm that really indicates where things are going. As he sees it, many of the smartest people in the world are flocking to blockchain projects.
While crypto has no lack of problems, ranging from its viability as a medium of exchange, to the environmental impact of proof-of-work blockchains, to the stability of many decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, Andreessen views these widely publicized issues as motivating challenges rather than serious impediments.
“The critics make this long list of all the problems,” he says, “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.”
“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 venture capitalist goes on to describe blockchain technology as the “missing link” in the way the internet is supposed to work, bringing a way to transact, send money, and have other economic arrangements built on a digital ledger.
“We could actually imagine the entire global economy running on the blockchain like 30 or 50 years from now,” he says.
A16Z continues to invest billions into crypto and Web3 companies
Andreesen’s firm recently began its fourth cryptocurrency fund, worth $4.5 billion, reaching $7.6 billion total for them invested in the sector.
In late May, as crypto users everywhere were coming to terms with the bear market, the company put out its inaugural State of Crypto report, reassuring the public at a time when the algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD had just collapsed.
In the report, the authors referenced a theory of price-innovation cycles, where crypto prices rise vertiginously and draw in developer talent (2011, 2013, 2017, 2021), only to crash and lead to a period of quiet innovation that brings on the next bull market. According to the report’s authors, we are entering the fourth winter of these cycles.
During this crypto winter, there are many projects that are halting operations. More than ever it’s important to move your crypto assets into cold storage to avoid getting your funds locked. With the CoolWallet Pro cold storage crypto wallet, you can store the best cryptocurrencies out there safely and also enjoy useful features, like NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible as well as awesome DeFi staking options.