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Andreessen Horowitz launches $300 million crypto fund

VC hires first female general partner to co-lead fund focusing on cryptocurrencies.

kathryn-haun-a16zcrypto1

Kathryn Haun, Andreessen Horowitz's first female general partner in the firm's nine years of existence.

Andreesseen Horowitz

Prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched a $300 million fund that will focus on cryptocurrencies.

The fund, to be called a16z crypto after the VC's nickname, will invest in cryptocurrency companies, coins, tokens and protocols, the company said Monday. The fund will be co-led by Kathryn Haun, a former federal prosecutor who will be the firm's first female general partner in the nine years since its founding.

As investor interest in cryptocurrencies has increased in recent months, so has SEC focus on stamping out scams aimed at bilking investors excited by the possibilities of cryptocurrency's financial and technological revolution. While at the Justice Department, Haun focused on fraud, cyber and corporate crime and created the government's first cryptocurrency task force.

In addition to making early investments in tech companies such as Okta and Lyft,  Andreesseen Horowitz has also invested in digital currency exchange Coinbase and blockchain startup OpenBazaar.  Blockchain is an encryption technology best known for underpinning bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

"We've been investing in crypto assets for 5+ years," Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon wrote in a blog post. "We've never sold any of those investments, and don't plan to any time soon. We structured the a16z crypto fund to be able to hold investments for 10+ years."

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