a16z Podcast: Establishing Online Identity is Hard — It Shouldn’t Be


As more and more of what we do for fun and work happens online, establishing identity becomes ever more critical. Whether it’s for dating or sending money, you want to trust that not only are you interacting with the person you think you are — but that your messages (or money) are in fact reaching the right person … and only them.

Sounds simple, but with the internet and computers in between, a lot can go wrong — whether by accident or by malicious design. Max Krohn, co-founder of usable encryption startup Keybase, examines the problem in this segment of the pod in conversation with a16z’s Chris Dixon. What makes cryptography so hard to use? Surely there has to be a better way?