‘Big Growth Opportunity’: Billionaire Builds USD 1Bn Crypto Venture

Elwood Asset Management, owned by billionaire investor Alan Howard, is building a new crypto investment platform for institutional investors, The Financial Times reported, citing CEO Bin Ren.

He sees this as a “very big growth opportunity” and hopes that the platform could eventually manage over USD 1bn of assets, the report said, adding that details of Elwood’s new fund have not been finalized.

However, it is already known that the system would design portfolios for each investor, based on their risk preferences, expected returns and the liquidity terms they want. It will also measure the potential correlation with other assets they own, according to the report. It noted that Elwood would then apply its own fee, in addition to the fees investors pay to access the underlying funds.

According to Ren, they have already identified up to 50 crypto hedge funds that “probably satisfy our due diligence”.

As reported in March, Elwood Asset Management, which also manages the personal crypto assets of Howard, is planning to launch a range of regulated investment products to lure more institutions into the crypto space.

The company plans “products that will cover the full spectrum of crypto-assets,” including direct exposure to major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company has already launched an exchange traded fund (ETF) that invests in companies involved with Blockchain technology, although they have so far avoided direct exposure to crypto assets.

Howard, who made sizable personal investments in cryptocurrencies in 2017, last year was one of the most high-profile investors participating in EOS’ “strategic investment round.” He has been ranked by Forbes as one of the 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers in the world, with a net worth of USD 1.35 billion (in 2018.)

The crypto hedge fund market:

(May 2019)

  • It is estimated that there are 150 active crypto hedge funds collectively managing USD 1 billion in assets (excluding crypto index funds and crypto venture capital funds)
  • Over 60% of these funds have less than USD 10 million in assets under management (AuM) with fewer than 10% managing over USD 50 million
  • The average crypto hedge fund AuM as of Q1 2019 is USD 21.9 million
  • The median AuM of funds as of Q1 2019 (USD 4.3m) is 3X that of the median AuM at fund launch (USD 1.2m -January 2018), which indicates that funds have been relatively successful at fundraising despite difficult market conditions
  • 52% of funds use an independent custodian, yet only 25% have independent directors on their board
  • The average size of fund team is 7-8 people
  • Typical crypto fund investment professionals have between 3-4 years of investment management experience
  • The majority of crypto hedge fund managers tend to be based in the United States (64%
  • The median fund returned -46% in 2018 vs a Bitcoin benchmark of -72%
  • The average fees for crypto hedge funds are 1.72% management fee and 23.5% performance fee

https://cryptonews.com/news/billionaire-investor-s-firm-builds-usd-1bn-crypto-venture-4550.htm

 

Crypto Exchange: Taiwan to Become Libra’s Chinese-language Capital

A Taiwanese cryptocurrency exchange wants to join Facebook’s Libra Association – and believes that Taiwan will become Libra’s de facto center of gravity in Chinese-speaking countries.

Per a report from the Taipei Times, Taipei-based exchange MaiCoin is hoping to be unveiled as a new association member by the year’s end. The exchange says it wants to operate a node on the Libra blockchain platform.

The news outlet quotes MaiCoin CEO Alex Liu as saying that even though companies like Binance (now headquartered in Malta, but originally based in Mainland China) are already vying for association membership, Taiwan would be a more logical location for a Libra node.

Liu noted that Facebook remains blocked in Mainland China, but is accessible in Taiwan, meaning that “Taiwanese firms have a better chance of being trusted” by Facebook.

Liu also opined that “Taiwanese exchanges are more likely to take the lead in Chinese-speaking regions” than companies with links to the mainland, and suggested that “money would not be a key factor for the Libra Association when choosing members.”

The CEO also claimed that Facebook said it was “confident of building a local user base of more than 20 million people.”

The company would possibly need to obtain regulatory approval from the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) should it wish to offer Libra-Taiwanese dollar pairings.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Winkelvoss twins, co-founders of the New York-based Gemini exchange, hinted that they may be prepared to put a long-running feud with Facebook behind them and join the Libra Association, which now has 28 members.

In an interview with CNN, the twins claimed they have “been in talks with Facebook about joining” the association.

Even if it does not join, the Gemini exchange could be set to work with the social network in some capacity.

CNN said that the Winklevoss twins are “waiting to learn more about the project before deciding whether to join the association or to list Libra on the Gemini exchange, which they said is another possibility.”

According to Tyler Winklevoss, “Facebook was a dispute, but it didn’t really define who we were as people.”

After going to Harvard University with Mark Zuckerberg, now Facebook CEO, the Winklevoss sued him for stealing their idea for a social network. The twins eventually won a USD 65 million settlement in cash and Facebook shares.

According to the Libra whitepaper, they hope to have approximately 100 members of the Libra Association by the target launch in the first half of 2020. Also, in order to join the Association companies are obliged to pay at least USD 10 million, which also gives a right to become one of validator nodes that “have the ultimate power” in making decisions about the project. However, in July, Facebook confirmed that until now all investments in Libra were made by Facebook only.

Huobi and Abra Keep Their Crypto Baskets as Coinbase Bundle Closed

Crypto baskets were the hot trend of the end of 2018, and multiple companies started offering their own crypto bundles. But we haven’t heard a lot about them since. Huobi, Abra and OKEx replied to our requests for comment.

As a reminder, crypto baskets come with a select suit of coins that are often weighted against the market, which means that the percentage of market dominance is also often the percentage that the coin makes up in a user’s bundle. It’s meant to make things easier for the users and lower the risks.

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and a popular digital currency wallet and exchange Abra, announced their respective bundles within days of each other in 2018. Coinbase offered its Coinbase Bundle, with five tokens within the basket. However, as it was recently reported, Coinbase quietly removed its Bundle product less than a year since its launch. Their reason for discontinuing the bundles is unknown and the company haven’t replied to our request for comment.

What about the other baskets then?

Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi was more open about their HB10 Index and its digital asset HB10, that help to invest in 10 coins.

Since its launch in June 2018, “we’ve reconstituted and rebalanced our HB10 product 5 times and it still works well”, a spokesperson of the company toldCryptonews.com, adding that just recently, their average daily trading volume was USDT 955,430.

“It’s been a good fit for certain types of client”, the spokesperson said, adding that ”Traders with very high risk appetite may prefer to trade in tokens that give them a chance at higher returns. However, HB10 it is popular amongst traders coming from traditional institutional markets because its overall volatility rate is small as compared with other single coins, its risk diversification effect is significant, and its overall price performance is stable.”

HB10’s initial net value upon its launch on June 11th, 2018 was USDT 0.9158, while its latest net value is USDT 0.6757. Its asset size stands at USDT 36,7 million, according to their website. The HB10 Index consists of BTC, BCH, BSV, EOS, HT, ETC, XRP, ETH, LTC, ADA.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Abra, in cooperation with Bitwise Asset Management, provides Bitwise 10 (BIT10) index, which tracks the price of 10 coins. There is a USD 5 minimum investment, no restrictions on entry or exit timing, and no fees. Since June 6th though, Abra no longer offers BIT10 in the United States because of regulatory uncertainty in its market. Nonetheless, Abra told Cryptonews.com that it’s “seeing solid growth” for this product among the international users. “It’s a great option for retail investors because it gives them a simple way to get exposure to the crypto market and benefit from the diversification and rebalancing of index investing”, Abra explained without providing any numbers. Just a week ago, due to regulatory uncertainty, the crypto wallet was forced to make changes that impact its U.S. customers.

Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index is rebalanced each month and now includes BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, EOS, XMR, XLM, DASH, ADA.

Also last year, major crypto-to-crypto exchange OKEx introduced its two indices, OK05 and OK06. However, it serves as an index only in providing a benchmark of the market.