A16z’s crypto ideas list for 2024 spotlights AI, gaming

The tech-focused venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz released its “big ideas” list for 2024. For the second year in a row, the list was capped off with insights from a16z’s crypto arm.

A16z crypto’s set of big ideas show multiple references to artificial intelligence (AI), gaming and digital security. The 2024 list contains no mentions of “zero knowledge” technology; a stark contrast to last year’s list, where it was the highlight of the first two points.

A group including general partner Ali Yahya wrote about the potential for crypto to “democratize” AI innovation. Decentralized markets can let anyone contribute and be compensated for working on artificial intelligence models, moving the training of the extremely powerful tools beyond the hands of just a few tech giants, they wrote. 

Read more: Crypto, please leave AI alone

Investing partner Carra Wu also wrote about AI, arguing that the advent of AI-generated video games will create a need for guarantees that game models are uncorrupted and neutral.

“The most important thing that crypto offers is such guarantees,” Wu said.

General partner Ariana Simpson said “play to earn” games are becoming “play-and-earn,” meaning users can play crypto-enabled games without financialization clouding the experience.

Read more: Play-to-earn as we know it is dead: Long live SocialFi

In the realm of security, chief technology officer Eddy Lazzarin said cryptographically-generated “passkeys” can make website and app sign-ins more secure. Furthermore, crypto projects are making formal verification, or the use of mathematical models to check a program’s security, easier for smart contract developers, writes research engineering partner Daniel Reynaud. 

Meanwhile, general counsel Miles Jennings made reference to his recent essay on how Machiavellian principles can improve DAOs. 

Read more: DAOs should learn from Machiavelli, says a16z crypto’s Jennings

Andreessen Horowitz has made sizable investments in several crypto projects including Yuga Labs, Solana and Uniswap. However, its exuberance in crypto investing seems to have cooled this year. The firm’s thirty largest crypto-related fundraises all came before 2023, according to funding aggregator CryptoRank.

Some crypto fans were rankled when Marc Andreessen’s “Techno-Optimist Manifesto” from October contained zero references to crypto.

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