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UK Venture Capital Investments Plummet 70%, Web 3 Sector Offers Hope

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Crypto VC investments dropped from $1.8bn in June 2022 to around $520 million last month as the focus shifted to AI.
  • Andreessen Horowitz's crypto arm a16z leads a $43m round in a UK AI startup and will set up a physical presence in London.
  • King Charles III gives royal assent to a bill recognizing crypto trading as a regulated financial activity in the UK.
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The UK Web 3 venture capital space seems promising as a16z leads a $43 million round while crypto investments globally fall from $1.8 billion in June 2022 to around $520 million in June 2023.

Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z crypto led a UK blockchain-related artificial intelligence startup’s $43 million round in an otherwise bleak funding year for crypto.

A16z Bets on UK Web 3 and AI Potential

At around $216 million, infrastructure investments accounted for crypto’s largest slice of VC money, followed by decentralized finance and gaming. Coinbase Ventures and Hong Kong’s HashKey Capital were the most active investors in the space.

infrastructure investments have been on a downtrend for most of the year, with UK AI firm Gensyn raising the most capital at $43 million.
Infrastructure investments led crypto funding in the past year | Source: RootData

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

The Andreessen Horowitz crypto arm announced in June it would set up a physical presence in the UK. The unit will specifically fund UK-based Web 3 startups.

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sought to attract crypto investments in the UK by vowing to make the nation a crypto hub as chancellor, his attention has recently been diverted to the cost-of-living crisis plaguing UK citizens.

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

Prime Minister Shifts Focus to AI Amid Ratification of New Crypto Laws

A Thursday press release revealed that King Charles III of the UK gave royal assent to a new bill recognizing crypto trading as a regulated financial activity. The approval follows the bill’s passage through the upper house of Parliament on June 19.

Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith states that the new law would permit regulatory sandboxes testing blockchain use cases in traditional markets.

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

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

However, how the new laws will play out remains to be seen. In addition to rising prices, Sunak’s focus has shifted to limiting societal fallout from artificial intelligence.

Find out here about the hottest AI stocks.

In a recent interview, his government supervisor Matt Clifford suggested that regulators must urgently curb AI’s existential threat to humanity, which could materialize in about two years.

Got something to say about a16z’s UK Web 3 bet or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or Twitter.

Top crypto platforms in the US | March 2024

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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