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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

Sep 23, 2021 - Health

Devoted Health to be valued above $11 billion in new round

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Devoted Health, a health insurance startup that focuses on Medicare Advantage plans, is raising up to $1.2 billion in new funding at around an $11.5 billion valuation, according to a Delaware stock authorization filing.

Why it matters: The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company serves around 40,000 seniors in four states, more than double from the first half of 2020, and wants to eventually become a nationwide provider.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker