Venture capital investments are down 70% in the UK, but Web 3 is outperforming

The UK Web 3 venture capital space looks promising with a16z leading a $43m round while crypto investments globally drop from $1.8bn in June 2022 to around $520m in June 2023.

Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z crypto led a UK blockchain-related AI startup to $43 million in a bleak funding year for cryptocurrency.

A16z bets on UK Web 3 and the possibilities of artificial intelligence

At around $216 million, infrastructure investments made up the largest tranche of cryptocurrency venture capital money, followed by decentralized finance and gaming. Coinbase Ventures and Hong Kong-based HashKey Capital have been the most active investors in the space.

Infrastructure Investments Led Cryptocurrency Finance Last Year | source: RootData

After a16z invested $43 million in UK-based Gensyn, Mythical Games’ Series C1 followed closely behind with $37 million.

Crypto arm Andreessen Horowitz announced in June that it would establish a physical presence in the UK. The unit will specifically fund Web 3 start-ups in the UK.

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sought to attract crypto investment in the UK by vowing to make the nation a crypto hub as an advisor, his attention has recently been turned to the cost-of-living crisis afflicting UK citizens.

Inflation in May was well above 7%, prompting the central bank to tighten monetary policy and stoking recession fears.

Prime Minister shifts focus to AI amid ratification of new encryption laws

Thursday press release It was revealed that King Charles III of the United Kingdom has given royal assent to a new bill recognizing cryptocurrency trading as a regulated financial activity. The approval comes after the bill passed through the upper house of Parliament on June 19.

Economics Minister Andrew Griffiths stated that the new law would allow regulatory sandboxes to test blockchain use cases in traditional markets.

“By repealing the old EU laws put in place in Brussels, it would unlock the investment of billions – cash that can unlock innovation and grow the economy.”

The bill defines cryptocurrencies as “a cryptographically digital representation of contractual value or rights.” The recent legislation passed in South Korea also explicitly defined digital assets.

However, it remains to be seen how the new laws will pan out. In addition to the price hike, Sunak’s focus has shifted to limiting the societal fallout from AI.

Learn about the most important AI stocks here.

In a recent interview, government supervisor Matt Clifford suggested that regulators must rein in the existential threat of artificial intelligence to humanity, which could materialize in about two years.

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