Andreessen Horowitz Opening Crypto Office In London Amid Crackdowns

Amid America’s crypto crackdown, Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly looking to the U.K.

The venture capital firm is opening a new office in London later this year to support cryptocurrency startups in Great Britain, company officials told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Sunday (June 11).

Chris Dixon, Andreesen general partner and well-known crypto advocate, told the WSJ that the U.K. offers a more promising regulatory environment than the U.S., where the government has recently taken action against a number of top exchanges.

“We’ve been wanting regulatory clarity for a long time,” said Dixon. “In the U.K., I think it will happen faster because there’s more political will.”

As PYMNTS has written, officials in the U.K. have tried to position the country as a digital asset hub. In February, the British treasury unveiled proposed regulations for the industry, saying it would subject crypto firms to the same oversight as traditional finance firms.

Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, said in April that crypto regulation could be enacted in the next 12 months.

Related: UK Banks Are Turning Away Crypto Clients

“Our robust approach to regulation mitigates the most significant risks, while harnessing the advantages of crypto technologies,” the treasury said in its announcement. “This enables a new and exciting sector to safely flourish and grow, boosting jobs and investment.”

The treasury would require crypto platforms to define “the detailed content requirements for admission and disclosure documents” to ensure exchanges have “fair and robust standards.”

Brian Quintenz, the head of policy at Andreessen crypto, told the WSJ that a paper the British government released outlining its proposal “struck the right balance” between protecting consumers while still promoting innovation.

This isn’t to say that the U.K. is letting crypto companies operate unencumbered. Last week, the country’s Financial Conduct Authority unveiled new rules for marketing cryptocurrencies, designed to inform consumers about the risk of investing in digital assets.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the SEC has kicked off, as PYMNTS wrote last week, “its most aggressive crusade yet — one that touches on nearly every facet of the crypto sector.”

After undertaking successful enforcement actions against crypto exchanges Bittrex, Kraken and Gemini, the agency is now trying to shut down Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange (which includes Andreesen Horowitz among its investors.