The Defiant

There is No Mention of Crypto in Marc Andreessen's Techno-Optimist Essay

It's a glaring omission given a16z is the largest investor in the blockchain space.

By: Camila Russo

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Marc Andreessen's "The Techno-Optimist Manifesto" doesn't mention crypto or any directly-related term. Not even once.

Andreessen Horowitz's co-founder published "The Techno-Optimist Manifesto" on Monday, where he laid out his world view: Technology is the glory of human ambition and achievement, there is no material problem that cannot be solved with tech, and free markets are the most effective way to organize the economy.

Given that a16z has poured billions into the industry, it was puzzling to try to find some hint of how crypto fits into the manifesto and come out empty handed.

Still, we assume crypto must play a role in Andreessen's vision of the future. After all, his fund's investments in crypto represent about 22% of a16z's $35B in committed capital, Peter Cafiero, a spokesman for the fund wrote in a response for request for comment.

The omission was not intentional and doesn't reflect reduced interest in crypto from a16z, Cafiero wrote.

The essay describes Andreessen's vision at a high level and doesn't detail how many specific technologies and innovations are involved (although artificial intelligence does get a shoutout).

Line Editing Marc

Maybe crypto is indirectly included in the technologies and themes mentioned, but - if I may be so brazen as to suggest edits to Andreessen's essay -- there were many opportunities to highlight it more directly.

Andreessen talks about the evils of centralized economic planning, but doesn't explicitly talk about decentralized networks. He talks about the "techno-capital market," an ecosystem of competing ideas that benefits the end consumer, without mentioning open source software and composability in the blockchain space as a way to accelerate this machine.

The essay starts with sections on "Lies" and "Truth" which would have been an ideal place to mention the transparent, censorship-resistant ledger of Bitcoin.

He mentions some of the founding pieces of modern tech: "The microchip, the neural network, the rocket, the split atom." And the blockchain?

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Andreessen ends his essay, a rally for builders to go forth and conquer new frontiers of tech, with a list of "Patron Saints of Techno-Optimism." He recommends reading the work of those listed, "and you too will become a Techno-Optimist."

I scrolled through the alphabetical list down to the S. Satoshi Nakamoto was not there either.