web3 with a16z crypto

a16z crypto, Sonal Chokshi, Chris Dixon

"web3 with a16z" is a show about the next generation of the internet, and about how builders and users -- whether artists, coders, creators, developers, companies, organizations, or communities -- now have the ability to not just "read" (web1) + "write" (web2) but "own" (web3) pieces of the internet, unlocking a new wave of creativity and entrepreneurship. Brought to you by a16z crypto, this show is the definitive resource for understanding and going deeper on all things crypto and web3. From discussing the latest and leading trends to sharing research, data readouts, and insights from top scientists and makers in the space, this is a variety show with a variety of formats and topics listeners can pick and choose from. It is hosted by the longtime showrunner of (and original team behind) the popular a16z Podcast. Learn more at a16zcrypto.com. read less

Crypto Policy & Regulation: What's Going On?
Feb 13 2023
Crypto Policy & Regulation: What's Going On?
with @milesjennings @brianquintenz @colinmccune @smc90We provide an overview of policy and regulation in the crypto industry right now -- from a lay of the land to pulse checks on sentiment -- as well as share helpful frameworks for policymakers, and quick guidance on how things work (and how to navigate and participate) for builders.  We also dig into the mindsets, myths, debates, nuances; and quickly discuss what to expect for regulation in a few specific domains -- from DeFi to DAOs, to briefly touching on CEX vs DEX, stablecoins, banks custodying crypto, unhosted wallets, etc.Our expert guests include: Miles Jennings, general counsel at a16z crypto; he was also previously at Latham & Watkins, where he co-chaired its global blockchain and cryptocurrency task force -- Jennings has written a lot for us here, including developing frameworks for regulating crypto while preserving both innovation and protecting consumers; developing and evolving legal frameworks for DAOs; releasing "can't be evil" licensing for NFTs; and sharing detailed guides to decentralization for builders.Brian Quintenz, now head of policy at a16z crypto; previously, he was a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he had led the agency’s Technology Advisory Committee -- during his service, the CFTC oversaw the listing of the first U.S. regulated Bitcoin and Ether futures contracts on derivatives exchanges, and the rapid expansion of DeFi.Collin McCune, who joined as head of government affairs at a16z crypto a few months ago; he has spent a decade on Capitol Hill, and most recently was Deputy Staff Director of the House Financial Services Committee. I asked McCune to jump in on this episode for where we cover navigating Congress and the legislative process....all in conversation with editor in chief Sonal Chokshi.To stay up to date on our ongoing efforts, regular regulatory recaps, and other resources or educational materials that you can use or point others to, please also subscribe to our newsletter for the latest dispatches.As a reminder: none of the discussion is investment, business, legal, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information -- including a link to a list of our investments.
Programming Languages & Crypto
Jan 30 2023
Programming Languages & Crypto
with @b1ackd0g @noahcitron @eddylazzarin @smc90This episode is all about programming languages and crypto -- and it’s for both existing blockchain & smart contract programmers, and also other non-web3 developers seeking to enter the space... and, for anyone who is just curious about how programming languages evolve and come into existence (as well as interested in the intersection of language, code, and expression!)It's a fun and fascinating ride, because we cover everything from differences (and similarities) in conventional programming languages vs. smart contract programming; discuss and debate the unique constraints (and opportunities) of blockchains; and also touch on topics such as formal verification, governance & community, tooling, cross-platform adaptation, and much much more... But we also dig into with the history, ebbs, and flows of traditional programming to today. Our guests in this episode, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi, include: Sam Blackshear -- co-founder and CTO of Mysten Labs (which is building foundations for the decentralized future of web3); Sam has a long history in programming languages from his PhD to working at Facebook (and Libra/Diem) to creating and being one of the authors of Move, an open-source programming language for building smart contracts;Noah Citron, smart contract & research engineer here at a16z crypto (who also recently authored a light client for Ethereum called Helios, and, won a challenging gas-optimization challenge with another partner here); andEddy Lazzarin, head of engineering for a16z crypto; before that, Eddy was in software engineering at Netflix, as well as data engineering and data science at Facebook.As a reminder, none of this is investment, business, legal, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information – including, a link to a list of our investments.
The Metaverse, Crypto, Virtual Society
Oct 21 2022
The Metaverse, Crypto, Virtual Society
This episode is a deep dive on all things metaverse, defining what the metaverse is, and what it isn’t; covering frequent misconceptions (and nuances) around how VR or virtual reality, videogames, and other applications relate (and don't relate) to the metaverse; and discussing how communities, fashion, sports, and more play here.  We also go into where crypto comes in -- including discussing trends in on-chain gaming, DAOs; themes like interoperability, composability; etc.  But we also go well beyond technology -- and into science fiction, the arts, low-fidelity design, narrative, and much, much more -- in this wide-ranging, hallway-style conversation between:Herman Narula, author of the new book Virtual Society: The Metaverse and the New Frontiers of Human Experience; Narula is also the CEO and co-founder of Improbable;Elena Burger, deal partner on a16z crypto (where she focuses on games, NFTs, web3 media, infrastructure, and more); Berger also wrote a thoughtful review of Narula’s book;...and host Sonal Chokshi (who also shares writings on topics such as "narrative collapse" and more as well as past episodes of the a16z Podcast with Narula on distributed systems at scale, gaming, and more).For more on metaverse from the a16z crypto, please see this piece.To order Narula's book, please select from here.---web3 with a16z is a show about building the next generation of the internet, from the team at a16z crypto. As a reminder, none of the content is investment, business, legal, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Ethereum, Merge and Beyond
Sep 12 2022
Ethereum, Merge and Beyond
with @timbeiko @tim_roughgarden @alive_eth @smc90A deep dive on all things Ethereum, which this week makes the big move to Proof of Stake in The Merge. So in this long and wide-ranging conversation with Tim Beiko -- who runs the core devs calls and Protocol Support for Ethereum Foundation -- a16z crypto head of research (Tim Roughgarden), general partner (Ali Yahya), and editor in chief (Sonal Chokshi) cover:how Ethereum got here today -- and the co-evolution of the protocol and the community;what went into The Merge -- both technical and the social processes behind the outcomes;  what changes, what doesn't;top of mind tech trends such as rollups, data availability, EVMs, and more (as well as hot topics including proposer-builder separation and others);views on token governancethe nature of distributed collaboration especially between R&D...but it's really a conversation about how innovation happens, in a decentralized way.  And what does that mean for community involvement, who participates, and how more people can participate in web3? In case you missed it, check out last week's episode for an overview of proof of stake blockchains.As a reminder, none of the following is investment, business, legal, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments. "web3 with a16z" is a show about building the next generation of the internet from the team at a16z crypto; this show is for anyone seeking to understand, and go deeper, on all things crypto and web3.
PoS Blockchains - Designs, Consensus, Attacks
Aug 29 2022
PoS Blockchains - Designs, Consensus, Attacks
with @lera_banda @tim_roughgarden @smc90We share an overview of proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains -- from quick background on how blockchains work, differences between PoS & PoW (including the energy question), and approaches to improving both; to digging deeper into Sybill attacks and Sybill resistance... and much more on the design (and some debates) of PoS blockchains overall. We therefore also go into different consensus approaches for PoS blockchains, from Nakamoto to BFT-style consensus and beyond; touch briefly on the question/ debate of centralization vs. decentralization in practice when it comes to PoS blockchains; and cover costless simulation and long-range attacks... plus briefly discuss topics like slashing and more, when issues are "escalated" to the social vs. protocol layer. [We don’t go into too much detail on Ethereum or the Merge i this episode, since we cover that in an upcoming episode.]Our expert guests in this episode (in conversation with host Sonal Chokshi) are:Valeria (Lera) Nikolaenko, a16z crypto research partner -- who was previously on Novi at Meta (formerly Facebook), where she was a research scientist and cryptographer for the Diem blockchain; Lera specializes in modern cryptography, post-quantum cryptography, proof-of-stake blockchain design, and more.Tim Roughgarden, a16z crypto Head of Research -- who, among many other things, is also a computer science professor at Columbia, and before that Stanford (and who joins as co-host in this episode).Be sure to also subscribe to our YouTube channel  for several introductory and deep-dive videos -- including the exact topics discussed in this episode, on an overview of PoS Blockchains & on long-range attacks on PoS blockchains, as presented by Lera -- just search for 'a16z crypto research'.  See also Tim Roughgarden's YouTube channel with several lectures on foundations of blockchains, including on topics mentioned in this episode (Tendermint protocol, longest-range consensus, random leader selection, more). Finally, if you’d also like a more high-level survey of research in web3 -- and a quick tour through tech topics like VDFs, rollups, and more -- be sure to check out episode 8 in this feed, which was also a hallway-style jam with the research team...As a reminder, none of the following investment, business, legal, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Crypto Regulations, Illicit Finance, Privacy and Beyond
Aug 19 2022
Crypto Regulations, Illicit Finance, Privacy and Beyond
with @michelekorver @jai_ramaswamy @smc90We tease apart the facts vs buzz around recent news -- that the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash for allegedly laundering proceeds of cybercrimes, and then later the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service stated that they arrested a suspected developer of Tornado Cash  Tornado Cash  -- including what's novel and what's not here, as well as the broader regulatory and compliance backdrop.  But we also share an evergreen explainer that goes well beyond recent events, to help crypto founders and others navigate various regulatory and compliance requirements for builders... while still ensuring innovation.  The first third covers a ton of analysis beyond the news around Tornado Cash -- from broader backdrop to specifics to players to what's novel or not in recent actions; as well as going into the differences between sanctions and national securities laws, to civil enforcement actions, criminal liability and money laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) program compliance requirements.We then do a brief interlude on the difference between obfuscating vs privacy preserving technologies, and why that matters in the big picture.And then the SECOND half of the episode dives deep into understanding and navigating compliance and legal for builders, covering: different frameworks, principles, common myths & misconceptions; when and how to resource (tooling to hiring);  a lightning-round primer on the alphabet soup of governmentt entities relevant to this space; advice for BOTH entrepreneurs & government agencies on engaging with each otherand much, much more… that’s all in the second half of the episode.Our expert guests (in conversation with Sonal Chokshi) are: Michele Korver, head of regulatory at a16z crypto, former federal prosecutor who was also at the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as their chief digital currency advisor; she also spent time in the U.S. Departmentt of Justice, where she was the first dedicated subject matter expert in cryptocurrency-related prosecutions and forfeitures; andJai Ramaswamy, chief legal officer at Andreessen Horowitz, where he oversees legal and compliance; he was also formerly chief risk and compliance officer at cLabs, which launched the decentralized protocol Celo; Jai also headed (or advised) on AML compliance & risk management at major banks (Capital One, Bank of America); and previously spent over a decade in government including significant time in the U.S. Department of Justice criminal division, where he focused on cybercrime, asset forfeiture, and money laundering. As a reminder: None of the following is legal, business, investment, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Bridge Hack, Wallet Hack
Aug 12 2022
Bridge Hack, Wallet Hack
with @mg_486662 @riyazdf @nassyweazy and @smc90This week’s all-new episode digs into recent high-profile hacks that took place in the crypto space over the last week -- we not only dig into what happened, including a more technical breakdown of the how and how we know -- but also cover the categories and issues specific to (and not specific to!) web3 security; as well as solutions and advice for builders.We also touch on related trends and topics such as the role of open source; communications around hacks, as well as social media status signaling; and much more. Throughout, we try to help tease apart what’s hype/ what’s real, as well as the signal vs. the noise, in the narratives out there...  Joining host Sonal Chokshi this week are experts from the a16z crypto security team, including: security engineer Matt Gleason; CTO Riyaz Faizullabhoy; and CISO Nassim Eddequiouaq -- both of whom previously worked at Facebook, Anchorage, and Docker [Nass also appeared on an earlier episode of this show, on evolving NFTs & security, available here].But for this episode, just to quickly recap for your context, the hacks we’re specifically covering are:The hack of the Nomad bridge -- which connects several different blockchains including Avalanche, Ethereum, Evmos, Moonbeam, and others – with reported range of between $185-$190M stolen; The hack of the Slope wallet -- a non-custodial, browser-based wallet that was reported to affect nearly 8000 users on Solana as well as other ecosystems -- with reported range of between $4.5-8M stolen. It occurred a week ago and Slope just posted their latest update today confirming some of the details in this episode (which was recorded a few days earlier).As a reminder: None of the following is investment, business, tax, or legal advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Top Tech Topics, Explained
Aug 6 2022
Top Tech Topics, Explained
@tim_roughgarden @josephbonneau @skominers with @alive_eth @cdixonA tour though top-of-mind blockchain & crypto tech topics, explained by several a16z crypto researchers, including VDFs (verifiable delay functions); zk-rollups, SNARKs, and zero knowledge in general; and others. We quickly zip up and down the stack, and across themes -- such as scalability; data availability; reputation and the creator economy, also discussing applications for NFTs and more. It is based on a conversation that took place a few months ago (on the heels of our a16z crypto research lab announcement), live on Twitter with:Tim Roughgarden, Head of Research at a16z crypto and professor in the computer science department at Columbia University;Joseph Bonneau, research partner at a16z crypto, who also wrote the textbook on cryptocurrency technologies, pioneered VDFs, and has taught cryptocurrency courses at several top universities;  andScott Duke Kominers,  research partner at a16z crypto and professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, and a faculty affiliate of the Harvard Department of Economics, who also advises a variety of marketplace businesses, startups, and crypto projects, and serves as an expert on NFT-related matters....with moderators and general partners Chris Dixon and Ali Yahya.Be sure to also subscribe to our YouTube channel -- as well as our newsletter at a16zcrypto.substack.com -- for more related content, and videos from researchers, going deeper on the topics discussed in this episode and beyond... ---Welcome to web3 with a16z, a show about building the next generation of the internet, from the team at a16z crypto -- this show is for anyone (whether researcher, developer, engineer, artist, company leader, community manager, entrepreneur or other builder) -- seeking to understand, and go deeper on all things crypto and web3:  towards a decentralized, community-owned, and creator-owned internet.
Policy Principles
Jul 23 2022
Policy Principles
@jakeauch @cdixon @milesjenningsA quick overview of principles for thinking about policy, briefly covering topics and recent moves that are top of mind in U.S. crypto regulation -- from stablecoins to NFTs to DAOs to more. It is based (only lightly edited for this medium) on a live conversation that took place a couple weeks ago on Twitter with:Congressman Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts, also Vice-Chair of the Financial Services Committee (he also formerly led product development at both a Fortune 100 insurance company and a cybersecurity startup);Miles Jennings, general counsel and head of decentralization at a16z crypto who has advanced and published several frameworks for both builders and industry on topics such as decentralization in practice, legal frameworks for DAOs, and more;Chris Dixon, a16z crypto founding general and managing partner who also moderates this conversation.Welcome to web3 with a16z, a show about building the next generation of the internet from the team at a16z crypto. This show is for anyone -- whether developer, artist, community leader; startup entrepreneur or other builder, policymakers, company leaders, others – anyone seeking to understand, and go deeper on all things crypto and web3: towards a decentralized, community-owned, and creator-owned internet. As a reminder: None of the following is investment, business, tax, or legal advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Puzzles (& Crypto)
Jul 5 2022
Puzzles (& Crypto)
with @enigmida @skominers @smc90A special bonus holiday episode (during our brief summer vacation) based on a hallway-style conversation we did linking two seemingly unrelated things: puzzle design, and crypto. What's the connection? Our experts  riff on all things puzzle design, from types of puzzles and mediums to mindsets -- as well as the parallels between the general principles of incentive design, engagement, accessibility, and more to NFTs, escape rooms, games, and other experience design -- drawing on their deep experience and passion from both inside puzzle communities and from work they've done for different crypto projects. Hosted by Sonal Chokshi, our guests in this episode are: Scott Kominers (a16z crypto research partner and professor at Harvard Business School), who also wrote Bloomberg’s puzzle column for a couple years; and Matthew Stein (former software engineer at Google and now full-time puzzle designer), who specializes in narrative puzzle hunts, as well as in designing alternate reality games for NFT communities, movies, musicians, companies, individuals, and others. Stein also designs puzzles for Art of Play's art journal; and is a reviewer for Room Escape Artist, the largest escape room website in North America, where he also writes about various topics in immersive gaming. As a reminder, none of this is investment, legal, business, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Decentralized Creativity & Collaboration
Jun 27 2022
Decentralized Creativity & Collaboration
with @RMcElhenney @cdixon @smc90This first live taping of 'web3 with a16z' took place an event hosted by a16z crypto & Adim during NFT NYC June 20, 2022 -- with special guest Rob McElhenney* in conversation with Chris Dixon and Sonal Chokshi. Given the theme of "decentralized media"/ "decentralized content creation", the conversation covers decentralized creativity and collaboration; community, creator access; IP and evolution of the internet; and where NFTs and web3 specifically comes in... do we really need web3 for this? We also touch on topics such as the metaverse, storytelling across mediums, managing writer’s rooms, favorite TV shows, nostalgia, and much more.*Rob McElhenney is the creative force behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the critically-acclaimed FXX comedy series in which he co-stars and serves as executive producer and writer; the fifteenth season premiered in December 2021, breaking the record as the longest-running live-action television sitcom in history.  He  is also the creator, executive producer, and star of Mythic Quest, the acclaimed comedy series that debuted on Apple TV+ (co-created by Megan Ganz and Charlie Day, and a co-production of Ubisoft and Lionsgate Television); it was recognized as one of the best new series of 2020. McElhenney is the co-founder and co-chairperson of Adim, which brings web3 technology to creative development to build a new model and value network for creators and collaborators to have a stake in the success and evolution of what they create -- initially through a scaled network of writer's rooms and through a platform for a broad character ecosystem. **As a reminder, none of this is investment, legal, business, or tax advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.
Auction Design for web3
Jun 14 2022
Auction Design for web3
with @skominers @tim_roughgarden @smc90In this episode, we go into all things auctions – which, broadly defined, are simply ways of selling and allocating scarce things – and which applies in web3 contexts to everything from NFT mints, to blockchains themselves. (Which we also go into in this episode, including an overview of the technical challenges specific to mechanism design in a permissionless context. We also briefly cover EIP 1559). We provide a quick overview of auction types, and incentive design, and how it works in both theory and practice -- including the nuances of market-clearing prices, gas wars, and more… sharing tradeoffs, choices, and principles for builders designing these systems throughout. Our expert guests in conversation with host Sonal Chokshi are Scott Kominers, a16z crypto research partner and professor at Harvard Business School who specializes in market, marketplace, and incentive design; and Tim Roughgarden, head of research at a16zcrypto and professor at Columbia, who led the development of the field of algorithmic game theory -- which brings together computer science and economics to solve real-world computing problems.  This conversation includes a brief mention of lotteries, which are sometimes used in conjunction with auctions, and which we kept for educational purposes only. Note there are some questions about the legality of such mechanisms like “sweepstakes” that narrow participants by requiring them to do something to enter -- so builders should NOT use these without consulting a lawyer. As a reminder, NONE of the following is legal, business, tax, or investment advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information.
Blockchains / Crypto / web3
May 31 2022
Blockchains / Crypto / web3
with @cdixon @alive_eth @tim_roughgarden @smc90We set some context, quickly, into the connection between blockchains, crypto, and web3 – and offer some useful analogies, and more mental models, for thinking about a blossoming area of computer science in both theory and practice.  web3 with a16z is a new podcast for anyone seeking to understand and go deeper on blockchains, crypto, and web3. It is about how users and builders -- whether artists, coders, creators, developers, companies, organizations, or communities -- now have the ability to not just "read" (web1) + "write" (web2) but "own" (web3) and build with pieces of the internet, unlocking a new wave of creativity and entrepreneurship.Brought to you by the team at a16z crypto (and the original team behind the a16z Podcast), this show features hallway conversations, discussions, interviews, oral essays, and more on the latest and leading trends in the space, including sharing research, occasional data readouts, and insights from the top scientists, and makers, in the space. It is hosted by Sonal Chokshi, longtime showrunner (2014-2022) and host of the popular a16z Podcast and network, now editor in chief at a16z crypto; as well as a rotating cast of characters from our team who appear in and occasionally co-host episodes as well.In the initial episodes, we start by setting some quick context, before we dive deep the rest of the season on topics ranging from auction design and mechanics, NFTs, security, zero knowledge, gaming, decentralized media, tokenomics, history, infrastructure, roadmaps, and much more -- in the form of everything from hallway conversations to interviews to oral essays; but as always, as is a signature of our other shows, with high density insights and respect for our listeners' time and attention.You can find show notes with links to resources, books, or papers discussed; transcripts; and more at a16zcrypto.com. This episode was produced, and edited by Sonal Chokshi. The episode was technically edited by our audio editor Justin Golden, with thanks to longtime sound engineer Seven Morris. Credit also to Moonshot Design for the art. And special acknowledgments to Chris Dixon, founder and managing partner; CMO Kim Milosevich; and several others on our team here for their support.To follow more of our work and get updates, resources from us, and from others – be sure to subscribe to our newsletter web3 weekly; you can find it on our website at a16zcrypto.com.