Crypto’s flagship, Bitcoin, has been slowly sinking this year, bring the rest of the market with it, and rather than go down with them, cryptocurrency hedge funds are jumping ship.
Since the beginning of the year, 9 such hedge funds have ceased operations completely, Bloomberg reports. Many of these were created during last year’s market boom, bringing 167 fresh funds into the fold. This suffusion of new blood added to the 39 funds created from 2011-2016, upping to total to more than 200 active cryptocurrency hedge funds managing an estimated $3.5-5bln in assets.
By contrast, only 20 funds have been established in 2018 thus far, putting the industry on track to produce roughly 120 new funds by the end of the year. Given the 9 that have already bitten the dust so far this year, though, the final tally could very well be much less.
Out of those that have closed their doors, certain funds did so without so much as an explanation for their investors. Crowd Crypto Fund, for instance, deleted its website and wiped any trace of its social media activity. Others have been a bit more candid in the face of failure. Alpha Protocol, a decentralized hedge fund that recently launched an ICO, scrapped its token sale and return all proceeds to its participants:
“Considering the potential regulatory and market risks, AlphaProtocol has decided that the best approach is to refund the private sale contributors. Since the ALP token was not listed on any exchanges, the contributors can return all the ALP tokens issued for a full refund. The refund process has been complete by 03-31-2018.”
In a similar vein, Polychain Capital, perhaps the largest fund of its kind with an estimated $250mln in managed assets, steered away from going public in Canada with an IPO. The company planned to file for a spot on the Canadian stock exchange, but as the market started taking a turn for the worse at the end of January, CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee announced that the organization decided “not to proceed with the listing.”