A16z, the cryptocurrency arm of leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has announced that it has hired former commissioner of the US CFTC, Brian Quintenz, to advise the firm on policies about crypto investments.
Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun talked about the development and said the appointment is part of a broader effort to ensure the firm has support in place for regulatory and policy matters.
“We are grateful that Brian is joining the team to help in our work of translating crypto for the policy community. He understands both how crypto technology works and how the CFTC thinks about the issue. His ability to translate between the two will be central to the success of a16z’s Crypto policy program and our portfolio companies.” Haun said.
In the new role, Quintenz will be joining many former US federal regulators currently working for Andreessen Horowitz, including former senior advisor to President Biden Tomicah Tillemann, former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Brent McIntosh, and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official Bill Hinman.
The move by Andreessen to hire such prominent, former regulators signals that the venture capital firm is stepping up to navigate better the emerging regulatory challenges in the U.S. cryptocurrency scene and to meet the more aggressive demands of the US regulators this year.
SEC Ready Regulate Crypto
Andreessen Horowitz is a leading venture capital firm that has been investing in several major cryptocurrency firms, including Uniswap, Solana, Robinhood, CryptoKitties, Coinbase, Earn.com, among others. In recent years, a16z, which is recognised as one of the most influential venture firms globally, has made several investments in the cryptocurrency and decentralised finance (DeFi) space.
In May, Andreessen Horowitz was looking to raise a fund of as much as $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.
US financial regulators are preparing to take a more active role in regulating the $1.5 trillion cryptocurrency market as concerns grow that a lack of proper oversight risks harming investors and consumers.
Earlier this month, the US SEC started investigating the largest DeFi exchange, Uniswap, to look into how investors use the exchange and how the platform is marketed.
Two days ago, Coinbase got the SEC’s attention. On Tuesday, September 7, Coinbase CEO Brain Armstrong went public with the battle, stating the SEC has now picked his company’s proposed lending product. Coinbase wants to launch a yield-generating product called Coinbase Lend to compete with popular decentralised (DeFi) products like Compound and Aave. But the SEC claims that the product “Coinbase Lend” is security and would therefore sue Coinbase if it goes ahead and launches the Lend program.
Coinbase exchange and decentralised exchange Uniswap are some of A16z’s most notable investments.
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