“Bitcoin is the largest software R&D company in the world,” said venture capitalist Chris Dixon Tuesday, arguing that great innovation no longer originates in places like Bell Labs, but instead comes from distributed communities, such as the thousands of engineers around the world who are now tinkering with virtual currencies. Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and an influential voice in the tech world, spoke in New York at a Wired event, where he shared some thoughts on the current state of technology and the economy.
A long-time booster of bitcoin, Dixon defended the currency in response to interviewer Stephen Levy’s suggestion that its primary appeal is to libertarians and other political outliers.
“You almost need these political movements to sustain these things,” said Dixon, adding that many bitcoin champions share the values of the open source movement, which helped end AOL’s dominance of the consumer internet in the early 1990’s.
Dixon also explained his company’s big bet
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