Columbia University Professor Leads New Cryptocurrency Research Unit at a16z

Tim Roughgarden, a theorist and professor at Columbia University, has been appointed as leader of Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z new research unit. Tim Roughgarden, following his employment, stated that a16z’s crypto research funding will increase “several times over in the next few years.”

Roughgarden’s resume includes 14 years at Stanford and more than three years as a professor of computer science at Columbia University in New York. Since February last year, he has also been a Research Partner at a16z.

With the total funding of roughly $9 billion, a16z is one of the most active venture capital firms in the cryptocurrency space. Guided partly by the firm’s new division announced earlier today, Roughgarden said his funding for crypto-currency research will grow “many times over in the next couple of years.”

Source: Twitter

“We are now living in a moment in time, watching a new interdisciplinary field blossom before our eyes (generated by web3). There is tremendous scope for shaping this field through research and education,” said Roughgarden. “As a research lab in a venture capital firm, a16z crypto research represents a new fundamental research funding model that seems obvious in hindsight (with the long-term focus needed for basic research already hard-wired into the firm’s business model),” the professor added on Twitter.

The company especially mentioned Roughgarden’s background in computer science, research, and economics, as well as his course in cryptocurrencies and blockchain at Columbia University, as one of the “best and most popular” exposures to the crypto industry on the internet.

Roughgarden was one of the first to provide a formal analysis of the payment mechanism in Ethereum’s EIP-1559 update. According to a16z, the research team will create an interdisciplinary lab that will work with companies in its portfolio and others to address “important issues in the sector”, increase user acceptance, and advance Web3 science and technology.

Stanford University professor of computer science and electrical engineering Dan Bonet will also join Roughgarden as a senior research advisor. Bonet has worked with a16z for the past four years as a portfolio research consultant and also teaches applied cryptography at the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research.

“A fresh entrepreneurial idea for a Web3 application or protocol generally reveals new research concerns,” according to the business, which are critical to address in order to secure blockchain and cryptocurrency’s future.

According to Andreessen Horowitz, cryptocurrencies and Web3 have evolved into a new “technological frontier” that mixes cryptography, computer science, economics, finance, and the humanities over the last decade. Because blockchain and cryptocurrencies are totally programmable, the Andreessen Horowitz guide compares them to personal computers and cellphones.

Web3 – new “technological frontier” Source: Pexels

Developers are special in that they may write code that lays the groundwork for how the product will perform in the future. The supply of bitcoin, for example, is restricted to 21 million coins, and this attribute, according to the business, creates a new computing model. With the introduction of Ethereum and other programmable blockchains, a new frontier for innovation has opened up. Decentralized finance (DeFi); NFTs, which are in high demand among artists and other artists; blockchain-based games; and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), which do not require the participation of centralized middlemen, are just a few examples.

Andreessen Horowitz is eager to dive into these fields, which is why it just announced the formation of a16z Crypto Research – an interdisciplinary lab. The company will focus on topics such as Web3 development, scaling, and infrastructure development, as well as the use of tokens in a variety of applications, including as gaming and social networks.

Andreessen Horowitz emphasized that, in addition to theoretical research, the execution of scientific concepts, which must also adhere to international regulatory regulations, will be a critical stage.

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