Andreessen Horowitz announced Monday that it is creating a $300 million fund that will invest exclusively in crypto-related projects and startups. The venture capital firm will put money into seed-stage projects and later-stage networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The fund, called A16z Crypto, will be led by Andreessen Horowitz's first female general partner, Kathryn Haun, a former U.S. Department of Justice federal prosecutor. Haun led the prosecution of the federal agents who stole money from the online black market Silk Road when they were supposed to be investigating the leader of the site. She also helped launch the Justice Department's first government task force for cryptocurrencies. She is on the board of directors at Coinbase, the largest digital currency exchange, and she taught Stanford Law School's first course on digital tokens and cybercrime.
"We want to see crypto move beyond the speculation phase and see it eventually solve real-world problems for millions or even billions of people," Haun told CNBC.
Andreessen Horowitz appears to be the first mainstream venture capital firm to launch a fund entirely devoted to cryptocurrencies, according to The New York Times. But it could be a risky move: The price of bitcoins and other tokens continues to decline after hitting all-time highs in December. The drop started after regulators said many cryptocurrency projects that raised money in 2017 may have done so illegally.