This week we chat with Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where he helps lead its Crypto Fund. Dixon and a16z are now launching a new Crypto Startup School devoted to educating young developers and entrepreneurs interested in the crypto space.
You can check out the back story of Dixon’s first company, SiteAdvisor, here. It was built during a time when spyware was a booming business and browsers had few systems in place to combat bad actors. The company was acquired by McAfee in 2006. It’s a great trip through the history of web security at the time.
Dixon next turned his attention to machine learning. He and his co-founders created Hunch, which worked to learn users’ tastes and recommend items they might enjoy. It was acquired by eBay in 2011 and many of these techniques are now widely used across the biggest social networks in the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about the background of Hashcash, which foreshadowed a lot of the ideas found in Bitcoin.
*Disclosure: a16z is an investor in Stack Overflow.