Marc Andressen v Warren Buffett (TechCrunch)
Addressing Warren Buffett, who recently called bitcoin a “mirage” and warned investors to stay away from it, Andreessen joked that the “track record of old white men who don’t understand tech crapping on tech they don’t understand is still at 100 percent.”
Srinivasan, who recently joined the firm as its youngest general partner, also joked that bitcoin has outperformed Berkshire Hathaway.
“I think the relevant comparison point for bitcoin is 1993 or 1994 for the consumer Internet,” said Andreessen, who created the Netscape web browser back then. “It arrived with fringe politics and fringe characteristics. But you just have to go through a maturation process, and along the way, the fringe characters can get alienated.”
Andreessen added, “My prediction is that the libertarians will turn on bitcoin. The libertarians will discover that the blockchain is public,” referring to bitcoin’s public ledger of transactions. While transactions are supposed to be anonymous, it’s possible to view the movement of bitcoin through the blockchain, which undermines that.
“Speaking of anonymous currency, the U.S. $100 dollar bill can be transported all over the world and is used to buy drugs and guns at about 1 million times the level that Bbitcoin is,” Andreessen said.
Both VCs are still hunting for more concepts in the space, and they’re saying the quality of entrepreneurs, teams and ideas keeps getting better.
Srinivasan said he’s looking for a Red Hat of bitcoin, referring to the seminal “open-source” computing company. He’d also like to fund a sort of “Underwriters Laboratories” model for bitcoin, which could support something like PCI compliance standards so that consumers can look for a label that could engender trust in third-party bitcoin wallets and services. Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, is that independent, nonprofit that does product-safety testing and certification. (You’ll see UL stickers on electrical home appliances.)