It’s 2019, and most institutional money managers are still taking a wait-and-see approach to crypto assets, concerned in part about market manipulation schemes and other nefarious actors. Though many top establishments are beginning to kick the tires — Harvard just made its first bet on a token offering, following an investment last year by Yale into the cryptocurrency fund Paradigm, and two U.S. pension funds got into the game in February — it’s happening more slowly than adherents would like.
One of these early and abiding crypto believers, famously, is Chris Dixon, a native Ohioan and now general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) who studied philosophy at Columbia before launching two startups: SiteAdvisor, an internet security company that warned web users of security threats and was acquired by McAfee in 2006, and later Hunch, a recommendation technology company that was acquired by eBay in 2011.
Along the way, Dixon became a prolific seed-stage investor — one whose bets were notable enough that in 2012, a16z pulled him into the fold as a general partner. Almost immediately afterward, Dixon began studying, and publishing his thoughts about, digital assets, whose potential seemed to capture his attention in a way that other technologies had not.
That fascination hasn’t waned in the least. Instead, Dixon, along with fellow a16z general partner Katie Haun, has gone all-in on crypto, leading a $300 million crypto fund that Andreessen Horowitz spun out last year.
Now, we’re thrilled to announce that Dixon is coming to Disrupt SF (October 2-4) for a rare fireside chat to discuss where we are as a society in terms of crypto adoption — and what will it take to realize true believers’ broader vision wherein it’s ubiquitous.
As Dixon suggested during a16z’s annual innovation summit in November, he thinks it’s time to start moving away from crypto as a kind of religion, with different factions and sects and rituals, and into the mainstream. Crypto is “the fourth big wave in my lifetime,” he told the founders and investors gathered at the summit. But there’s a “lot of evangelizing to do” to get there.
During our sit-down, we’ll chat with Dixon about the moment he fell in love with the technology, whether he has had doubts along the way and how he sees the tech world moving beyond some daunting issues with infrastructure, scalability, usability and challenges with governance.
In a nutshell, we’ll talk about why he’s so confident that today’s investment phase will evolve into a so-called utility phase and eventually into the open financial system — and we’ll talk about when.
If you care about understanding crypto and the ways it may well impact you sooner than you might imagine, you definitely won’t want to miss Dixon’s appearance. We know we can’t wait for it.
Disrupt SF runs October 2 to October 4 at the Moscone Center. Tickets are available at our Super Early-Bird rates here.