Billionaire Investor Steven Cohen Betting on Crypto
Steven Cohen, an American philanthropist and hedge fund manager, is investing in Autonomous Partners, a hedge fund focused on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, founded last year by long-time crypto advocate Arianna Simpson.
Simpson has confirmed the news on her Twitter.
The investment by Cohen was made through his private investment company Cohen Private Ventures.
According to Bloomberg, the new fund is looking to invest specifically in “cryptocurrencies that serve as general purpose money,” as well as companies working with blockchain technology to build “the next generation of financial infrastructure.”
In addition, Simpson explained that the fund has also invested in more established cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
Autonomous Partners launched in December and includes funding in the low eight digits from investors such as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Union Square Ventures, and Craft Ventures, according to Fortune.
Simpson has invested in, for example, 0x, a protocol allowing for the creation of decentralized exchanges, while Ripple, the California-based start-up that aims to help banks improve cross-border transactions by using blockchain technology, is not in the portfolio due to centralization concerns, according to Fortune.
Crypto-focused hedge funds saw a huge surge in popularity last year as the cryptocurrency market soared. However, the market sell-off during the first half of 2018 has forced many hedge funds to shut down, with some funds even underperforming bitcoin, which has seen a decline of nearly 70% since its top late last year.
Autonomous Research, an independent research provider on the financial sector, estimated in May that there are a total of 200 to 300 crypto-focused hedge funds operating with a combined USD 3 to USD 5 billion under management. 150 of those funds were reportedly created in 2017 alone.