2017 marked an explosive period of growth for the overall crypto market capitalization- and it caught the attention of not only the general public, but also that of institutional finance. As of April 30th, 2018, Thomson Reuters published the findings from a survey of 400 undisclosed businesses, of whom 20% indicated they would initiate “direct contact with cryptocurrency assets in the next 12 months.” 70% of those who indicated they’d initiate crypto trading vehicles said they planned to do so within the next three to six months. Just yesterday, Goldman Sachs announced its plans to open a Bitcoin-specific trading operation, according to the New York Times. Despite the Q1 plummet of the overall crypto market capitalization, a substantial percentage of players within institutional finance are undeterred from entering the space.
Here is a quick break-down of some Wall St. and Silicon Valley whales and the steps they’re taking to further their asset management operations.
Background: Soros is most famously known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England,” when he shorted heavily against the British pound in 1992 and pocketed $1 billion as a result.
Moving forward: Currently, the Soros Fund Management operates with $26 billion in assets. Adam Fisher, head of global macroeconomic trades for the fund, recently received internal approval towards the end of Q1 to begin trading digital assets, according to Bloomberg.
Background: Andreessen (net worth $1.8 billion) and Horowitz (net worth $2.8 billion) are most known for their Menlo Park-based VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz. The firm manages about $2.7 billion in assets, and most notably invested early in Twitter, Facebook, Airbnb. Within the crypto space, AH has invested in Coinbase, Ripple, and CryptoKitties.
Moving forward: According to Recode, Andreessen Horowitz is launching a crypto-specific fund, separate from the parent VC. As of April 23rd, two job listings have been posted on AH’s website specific to a “separately managed fund focusing on crypto assets.” The listings request for legal counsel (most likely to conduct due diligence for SEC-compliance), and a finance + operations manager for valuations of crypto assets.
“in five years, you are going to buy coffee with fiat currency; they are going to laugh at you because you’re not using crypto”
Background: A founding partner of leading VC firm, Draper Associates, Draper bought 30,000 BTC in a 2014 U.S. Marshals Service auction. As of April 30th, 2018, his Bitcoin net worth is estimated at $279,299,850.00. He was also an early investor of Tesla, Skype and Hotmail.
Moving forward: As one of the world’s most vocal crypto-evangelists, Draper most recently met with the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan towards the end of 2017 to advocate for virtual governance and a global startup hub that center around digital currency. He continues to evangelize bitcoin and the practical uses of digital currency around the world.
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