One of our firm’s cultural values is that we take a long view of relationships. That’s why we are able to announce our newest hire, Anthony Albanese, who will be joining us from the New York Stock Exchange, where he is the chief regulatory officer.
I first met Anthony years ago in passing when he was at the New York State Department of Financial Services, which he later ran. Our paths crossed again some time later when he was considering joining our portfolio company, Coinbase. Coinbase loved Anthony, Anthony loved Coinbase, but as often happens in executive hires, the timing just wasn’t right. He had such great experience and, taking a long view of relationships, we stayed in touch.
We’re glad we did. We continued talking to Anthony about why we think crypto is not only the future of finance but also poised to transform many aspects of our lives. Like us, he became excited at the idea of working with multiple different crypto portfolio companies, focusing on areas as diverse as gaming, digital storage, payment systems, social media, creative marketplaces, and more. And what better place to do that than at the a16z crypto funds, where we’ve been fortunate to invest in what we believe are the very best crypto entrepreneurs.
Crypto is at a fascinating point in its development. Sensible regulation of this emerging field will be a major factor in its success. We believe innovation and regulation can coexist, just as they did with the development of the Internet, but to do so both sides must fully understand each other’s points of view. That’s where Anthony, like he did with us, will bring a long-term approach to his relationships with both regulators and entrepreneurs. There’s an immense need for highly skilled and experienced lawyers who are passionate about crypto and want to see regulation applied in a modern way that lets innovation flourish.
We couldn’t imagine a better person to help this effort than Anthony. At NYSE, Anthony oversaw regulation, including working with regulators at the state, federal, and international levels. Before that, he ran the New York DFS, an agency of 1,400 employees, regulating more than 3,800 financial services entities with assets exceeding $7 trillion. He also spent more than a decade as a partner at a major law firm, specializing in securities litigation.
Aside from his considerable qualifications, Anthony stood out to us thanks to the strong endorsements of those who have worked with him previously. He’s widely regarded as an excellent manager, a strong leader, a thoughtful partner, and a great person. Very few people can successfully transition from the government to an institution like the NYSE to the crypto sector. You need someone with the gravitas to engage with regulators around the world but who can hang with crypto natives and dev teams developing the world’s next great technology — it’s a personality type, it’s an experience set, but frankly it’s also a life outlook. So Anthony’s a bit of a unicorn and we’re in the unicorn business.
Anthony will be steering our network operations efforts, regulatory outreach, and, of course, working directly with our portfolio projects to help them think through strategy, hires, and much more. He’ll work alongside our fantastic crypto policy counsel, Jeff Amico, who recently joined us from Cravath Swaine & Moore and served as general counsel at Airswap.
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