Why VC firm Andreessen Horowitz is betting big on blockchain gaming market

The blockchain gaming market is “huge”, says Katie Haun, a general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “Gaming is bigger than the film and the music industries combined. Content creators and publishers are long used to experimenting with new business ideas,” she believes.

And that’s how crypto can unlock a world of possibilities, she says. “All of a sudden if you think of crypto as a way for you to have digital goods that are truly scarce that the gamer actually owns, and can transfer to another game.”

But there are relatively few VCs investing in this space right now. Haun says because of regulatory considerations, a lot of traditional VCs can’t hold tokens unless they register as registered investment advisors (RIAs). “There are fewer and fewer deals in crypto that are pure equity deals,” she says.

Haun says that in 10 years money will be digital, the same way books and music are today—and that efforts such as Libra (Facebook’s project to create a global digital currency), which the venture-capital firm has invested in, will be key to getting there.

Libra has run into regulatory and political resistance, and has had to regroup. But the pressure hasn’t made Andreessen less of a believer. The firm has invested in rival Celo as well.

While many venture-capital firms remain wary of crypto, Andreessen has recently started a second, $515 million fund, which Haun co-manages, that’s investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects. She serves on the boards of companies including digital exchange Coinbase Inc. Before joining Andreessen in 2018, Haun spent a decade as a federal prosecutor focusing on fraud, cyber and corporate crime, and was involved in untangling the Mt Gox crypto exchange collapse.

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