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Ripple Vets Raising Money for Crypto Hedge Fund

Two former employees of distributed ledger startup Ripple are raising money for a new cryptocurrency hedge fund, public records show.

Twin filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated Jan. 25 and 26 show that co-founders Tim Lewkow and Eli Lang are seeking funds to back Fractal Investments, which invests in crypto-assets, per its official website. The company, Fractal Investments, dates back to last summer and has maintained a public profile primarily through its Twitter account.

Lang is formerly creative director for Ripple, having begun working for the San Francisco-based startup in 2012. Lewkow worked for Ripple from December 2013 until June of last year, most recently serving as integration engineering manager, according to his LinkedIn account.

The filings detail two vehicles, Fractal: Virtual Currency Investment Fund I LP and Fractal: Private Investment Fund LP, both of which are incorporated in Delaware. Neither filings indicate how much money is being raised for either entity.

The developments perhaps highlight the continued drive to establish hedge funds and other financial entities amidst a period of heightened activity in cryptocurrency markets and development around the tech more broadly. Like others, Fractal is looking to invest in the growing ecosystem of digitized assets.

And even as traditional investors move to invest in the space, others are pushing even further. As reported last week, a group of former Wall Street vets has raised as much as $50 million to create a fund of funds focused on cryptocurrencies.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple. 

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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Hedge Fund Pro Bill Miller: 'Just About 50 Percent' Invested in Bitcoin

Investor Bill Miller said last week that his MVP1 hedge fund has half of its investments in bitcoin.

Miller, the chairman and chief investment officer at Miller Valued Partners, made the disclosure on Dec. 13 when speaking to WealthTrack podcast with Consuelo Mack.

“It’s just about 50 percent right now,” the legendary hedge fund manager was quoted as saying, who added that the fund also holds bitcoin cash. Miller’s involvement in bitcoin dates back several years when he bought stakes in 2013 and 2014 (at a claimed average cost of $350 apiece).

In October this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, bitcoin was said to have comprised one-third of Miller’s hedge fund, meaning that the manager has only boosted the stake size since then. At first, according to Miller, just 5% of the fund had been allocated to bitcoin.

And as of October, the value of the MVP1 fund was pegged at $154 million, and Miller Value Partners reported having more than $2 billion in assets under management as of September.

In the podcast, Miller took aim at those who have criticized the cryptocurrency, including billionaire investor Warren Buffet – who Miller called “wrong” about bitcoin back in 2014 – and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who infamously declared bitcoin a “fraud” earlier this year.

According to Miller, neither of them had fully thought the topic through.

“I’m highly confident to say that not one of them had actually studied it carefully,” he said during the podcast. “That is to say, they have strong opinions about something they haven’t really looked at.”

His comments come after weeks of escalating bitcoin prices, which at press time are trading at around $18,695, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

At the same time, subtle changes could be coming next for Miller’s bitcoin-heavy hedge fund. Miller suggested during the podcast that his firm is looking at ways to decrease the amount of cryptocurrency it holds without having to sell any of the holdings.

“I’d be fairly confident to say it won’t be 50 percent of the fund for that much longer, which does not mean necessarily we are going to sell it,” Miller explained, adding:

“We are working on how to handle it without selling it.”

Image via WealthTrack/YouTube

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

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Multicoin Capital Plans $100 Million Raise for New Blockchain Investment Fund

A new investment fund called Multicoin Capital has launched with $10 million committed in a bid to invest in a range of blockchain tokens.

The firm said it plans to have as much as $100 million raised by the end of the first quarter of 2018, representatives said in an email. Multicoin, which revaled its initial commitments today, outlined seven different investment focuses to begin with, ranging from storing value to decentralized prediction markets.

In statements, the fund sought to differentiate itself from traditional fund efforts, stating that while it may resemble a hedge fund on the surface, Multicoin is relying on a technology-driven methodology for identifying token prospects.

Kyle Samani, managing partner, said of the effort:

“We invest in tokens, not companies, and tokens, unlike companies, require new tools to operate at scale. You can’t just carbon-copy the VC model and apply it to tokens or leave $300+ million on some exchange less than a year old.”

The company has been building its own security technology for the last year in order to make sure that investor funds won’t be lost. Its security approach is based on three pillars: redundancy, cold storage and multi-signature. None of the private keys ever touch the internet, multiple private keys must sign a transaction to use Multicoin assets and there are copies of each private key stored in secure locations around the world.

“We like to say that the way we secure our keys is akin to the way the government secures the nuclear codes,” Tushar Jain, managing partner, said of the fund’s  measures.

Among the firm’s advisors is David Johnston, the co-founder of blockchain startup Factom. Accredited investors can participate with a minimum investment of $100,000, according to the firm. The fund charges a two percent management fee and 20 percent carried interest.

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.