The basis of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is the blockchain — essentially a decentralized, public, tamper-proof ledger of all transactions. But the same basic protocol could in principle have many other applications, including financial services, like loans and trading records; security products to prevent cyber-attacks and information leaks; “smart contracts” that execute automatically; secure messaging; voting systems; identity documents; and public records such as land registries. Chris, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, discusses what he sees as the most promising applications of blockchain technology, and how its adoption would affect control and ownership of personal data.
Chris Dixon is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Previously, Chris was the cofounder and CEO of two startups, SiteAdvisor and Hunch. Chris has been a prolific seed investor, cofounding Founder Collective, a seed venture fund, and making a number of personal angel investments in various technology companies.
Chris started programming as a kid, and was a professional programmer after college at the high-speed options trading firm, Arbitrade. He has a BA and MA in Philosophy from Columbia and an MBA from Harvard. He has written about his theories and experiences as an entrepreneur and investor on Medium, and before that at cdixon.org; his a16z Podcast appearances can be found here.
Data & Society’s “Databites” speaker series presents timely conversations about the purpose and power of technology, bridging our interdisciplinary research with broader public conversations about the societal implications of data and automation.