Chris Dixon didn’t join the a16z overnight. To become the guardian angel of Coinbase, and for CEO Brian Armstrong to appoint him to the position “Most Influential Investor”Born in Ohio in the United States, she has followed a long way, ignored by many but criticized by some like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
“My job is not to predict the future”temporarily recently in an interview with Forbes. “My job is to be smart enough to know who the best smart people will be.” is specified. The visionary through his ability to be a headhunter has been able to discover the best coins on the planet, in technology even before specializing in cryptocurrencies.
Thanks to him, a16z investment fund has an exceptional track record: 14 participations in Coinbase fundraising since 2013 (the grand prize when the company went public), investing in Uniswap, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, in Avalanche (blockchain) and in NBA Top Shot, the NFT platform .
From $350 million to more than $6 billion, the money invested by a16z in 2021 increased 17.7 times thanks to the performance of the companies that Chris Dixon was betting on. New York newspaper Forbes She decided to make it a portrait of a character who would otherwise understand, the world of cryptocurrency would not be what it is.
What will be the new technology of the decade, after computers in the 1980s, the Internet in the 1990s, then cell phones in the 2000s? In 2013 Chris Dixon said he considered the question, before deciding to invest $25 million in Coinbase. But before this process, his track record of winning bets was already complete.
Kickstarter in 2009, Pinterest in 2011, said he was looking to find “moon pictures”, those companies capable of becoming leaders in their field in the future. To raise money, he took advantage of the acquisition of his startup, Hunch and SiteAdvisor, the first of which sold for $75 million on eBay.
Chris Dixon was a self-employed investor who became a principal for one of the largest expatriate investors on the planet, as featured on his personal blog. In 2010, for example, he wrote a post describing his vision of the disruptive technologies of tomorrow. for him, “The next big technologies will start to appear like games.”, he wrote. The logic that resonates today with the advent of NFTs—which is sometimes ridiculed.
Controversial character and strategy
Behind his applause, Chris Dixon also lashed out. Thanks to Coinbase, it has been singled out by many proponents of decentralized finance and Bitcoin. Because by investing in Coinbase, a16z has chosen to bet on central players, who only aim with cryptocurrency to make a profit. The result: Web 3, which should be the next version of the web fueled by decentralized projects, through blockchain and the absence of heavyweights like GAFA, is under threat.
Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter who resigned as CEO to focus on Bitcoin development, is one of the main competitors to Chris Dixon’s vision and VC a16z. In December 2021, he lamented in a tweet: “You don’t have Web3. Mutual funds have that. […] Web3 is ultimately a central entity with a different categorization”.
At the beginning of April, he added a layer of that by saying that Web3 will not solve Web 2.0 problems because of this money that devote the same mistakes traditional finance: a problem for personal data, for competition, for security. This time he was doing it himself Middle East and Africa neglect He apologizes to himself for creating Twitter with an advertising model only. Currently, Jack Dorsey is said to be working on his decentralized social network.
“The days of Usenet, IRC, and the web…even email (with PGP)… were great. The centralization of discovery and identity in organizations really hurt the internet. I realize I’m partly to blame and I’m sorry for that”he wrote.
Following these comments on Twitter, Chris Dixon rashly responded and blocked Jack Dorsey. When he himself advocated the importance of decentralized Web3 in a thread, Jack Dorsey responded “It Wasn’t Gandhi” and that it was “a fund designed to be a media empire that cannot be ignored”. Chris Dixon replied that he invited all the actors to join him “Solve these problems” all.