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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Bitcoin is largely a wash for 2021, but that isn't dimming crypto optimism among venture capitalists or their deep-pocketed limited partners.

Driving the news: Andreessen Horowitz this morning announced that it's raised $2.2 billion for its third crypto-focused fund.

  • It's by far the largest crypto VC fund ever raised, more than quadrupling the firm's prior effort.
  • A source tells me that the vast majority of commitments came from existing LPs, reflecting how institutional investors want added crypto exposure.

The bull case: Andreessen Horowitz argues that "the next wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto" and that the technology can fill trust gaps left by corrupt or ineffective governments.

The bear case: We've been hearing that for years, without too much borne fruit.

The big variable right now is that we could finally be on the cusp of more regulatory certainty around crypto, particularly with Gary Gensler now leading the SEC and competitive pressures coming from China. If that happens, it could provide lots of tailwinds to crypto VC funds and their portfolio companies.

  • To that end, Andreessen Horowitz today also announced the additions of former SEC official Bill Hinman as an advisory partner, former Biden adviser Tomicah Tillemann as global head of policy and former Treasury Dept. official Brent McIntosh as an adviser partner.

The bottom line: Don't be surprised if Andreessen Horowitz gets even louder about its crypto thoughts, including on regulation and the upstart's relationship to incumbent tech, as it's now established itself as the technology's richest power broker.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
9 hours ago - Energy & Environment

SEC boss offers rough roadmap on climate plans

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler yesterday shared his thinking on looming climate risk disclosure rules and said he wants more coherence around climate-friendly investing.

Driving the news: Gensler, in comments yesterday, said he's tasked SEC staff with coming up with a draft regulation by the end of the year.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.

Biden details new vaccination initiatives as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden detailed several new initiatives on Thursday to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Why it matters: The plan outlines aggressive next steps from the federal government as COVID-19 cases surge across the country due to the contagious Delta variant and as demand for vaccines has tapered off.