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Columbia University professor appointed as head of a16z’s crypto research unit

Columbia University
Columbia University

Tim Roughgarden, a professor at Columbia University and a theoretical scientist, has been appointed as the head of the new crypto research unit at Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z. a16z is one of the active venture capital firms in the crypto sector.

Columbia University professor heads to head a16z crypto research unit

Roughgarden has been a professor of computer science at Columbia University for over three years. He also boasts of a 14-year tenure at Stanford. He has been involved as a research partner at a16z since February 2021.

Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z has funds worth around $9 billion. Roughgarden has said that most of the company’s funds will be directed toward cryptocurrency research. The funding of crypto research is expected to increase by “many multiples of the next couple of years.”

“We’re currently in a particular moment in time, witnessing a new multidisciplinary field (spurred by web3) blossom before our eyes. There are enormous opportunities to shape this field through research and education,” Roughgarden added.

The professor has immense experience in various fields such as research and economics, and computer science. He also runs a crypto and blockchain course at Columbia University. The professor was among the first people to offer a formal analysis of the fees system for Ethereum’s EIP-1559 upgrade.

The venture capital firm said that the research team would create a multidisciplinary unit that will work alongside companies within its portfolio and others to solve important issues within the space to boost user adoption and increase its presence in Web3.

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Roughgarden will also be joined by a professor at Stanford University, Dan Boneh. Boneh will be the senior research adviser at the venture capital firm. Boneh has worked with a16z for four years as the portfolio research adviser. He is also a tutor of applied cryptography art at the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research.

Solving research challenges

The firm has said that the Web3 sector calls for solving the challenges posed by fresh research. Solving these challenges will be beneficial in solidifying the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Some of the evident challenges in the sector include scalability and the growth of the infrastructure needed to benefit all the participants. The strategies needed to formulate tokenomics for different blockchains are also needed.

“With the advent of Ethereum and other blockchains that are fully programmable, web3 has unlocked an extremely rich design space for innovation. It’s a space that we’ve only just begun to explore,” the report added.

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