The company has brought former United States CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz aboard its operation.
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Crypto regulation has become an increasingly relevant topic over the past several years. To address these legal ins and outs amid the ever-changing regulatory waters, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has called upon a previous leader of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s, or CFTC, to join its team.
“As part of our larger effort to make sure we have a world-class support system in place when it comes to policy and regulatory matters, I’m thrilled to announce that Brian Quintenz, a former Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is joining as an advisory partner on the crypto team,” Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun wrote in a Thursday announcement on the a16z website.
The past year in particular has seen significant regulatory talk within the U.S. and abroad. In December 2020, the U.S. Treasury aimed to increase self-hosted crypto asset wallet surveillance and more recently, the U.S. infrastructure bill included terminology that could put considerable strain on the growing crypto space. Other countries have also made various regulatory moves, evident in their actions against digital asset exchange Binance.
Andreessen Horowitz seems to have recognized the present regulatory tune of the crypto industry and desired to provide support for the entities in its portfolio. “Our portfolio projects are innovating in ways previously unimagined, and so our investment in them must be more than just financial — we seek to provide them with a full suite of resources on their path to success,” Haun noted in the post.
The CFTC and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, are two regulatory agencies often part of the conversation whenever legal guidelines intersect with crypto. Explaining the importance of having a previous regulatory head on hand, Haun wrote:
“The CFTC plays a critical role as a federal regulator with jurisdiction over digital currencies, utility tokens, and other non-security commodities and Brian has long stood out as an innovative thinker in the crypto and DeFi space. 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 Crypto’s policy program and our portfolio companies.”
Other former U.S. government brass has also joined different crypto-involved outfits, such as Jay Clayton, who previously led the SEC as chairman.