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Chris Dixon, founder and managing partner of a16z crypto, believes the Internet’s early ideals of democratization and community ownership have been subverted by the consolidation of power into just a few small companies like Facebook and Google. He’s written a new book called Read Write Own in which he writes about this phenomenon, and argues that blockchain technology can help reverse the trend by providing an environment in which developers and entrepreneurs can once again build direct relationships with their audiences.

Dixon joins Unchained to discuss criticisms of crypto VC firms, how he feels now about a16z’s previous investment in Facebook, how crypto has become overly politicized in the U.S., why Facebook’s Libra project was ultimately shut down, the significant promise of restaking and EigenLayer in particular, and why he believes that creator royalties are essential for the NFT market.

Show highlights:

  • what inspired Chris to write his new book and why he thinks the crypto industry is misunderstood
  • what the current problems of the Internet are and how just a few companies control most of the revenue
  • how Chris explains the concept of blockchains to the layman
  • the importance of property rights in the real world and how blockchains make this better
  • how Chris responds to the criticism that venture capital firms “dump on retail” and  what a proper allocation of tokens to VCs is
  • what the best designs are to achieve good governance in decentralized networks
  • how the crypto industry has become politicized in the U.S.
  • what Chris thinks about a16z’s investment in Facebook
  • why Facebook’s Libra project was shut down and his takeaways from the venture
  • what lessons Chris learned from the 2022 crypto debacle, with the collapse of FTX, Terra, Celsius, 3AC, etc.
  • where Chris sits in the debate about modular vs. monolithic networks
  • how restaking and EigenLayer could “unlock a bunch of new design possibilities,” according to Chris
  • the role of open source software in driving a better environment and better projects
  • how decentralized social networks could attract new levels of adoption
  • whether creator royalties are necessary and why Chris believes that they are “non-negotiable”

Episode Transcript

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Venture Capital

Modular vs. monolithic


  • Unchained:


The 2022 debacle


Crypto & AI