Crypto hedge funds have emerged as a pivotal player, offering a unique blend of traditional investment strategies and the thrilling potential of cryptocurrencies. 

The sector is rapidly expanding, attracting both seasoned traders and newcomers intrigued by the fusion of blockchain technology with hedge fund acumen. 

Let’s dive into the intriguing world of crypto hedge funds, exploring the top players, their strategies, and what it means to start a fund in this cutting-edge field.

What is a crypto hedge fund?

A crypto hedge fund is a specialized investment fund that specifically focuses on cryptocurrencies, similar to traditional hedge funds that invest in assets like stocks or bonds. 

These funds are managed by professionals who aim to increase their value through different investment strategies. 

These hedge funds invest in a variety of cryptocurrencies, not just the well-known ones like Bitcoin or Ethereum. They might also include other digital assets related to blockchain technology.

Don’t confuse a crypto hedge fund with a crypto ETF. The ETF is a type of investment fund traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks. It tracks the value of one or more digital tokens and offers a more passive investment approach. ETFs provide an easier entry point for the average investor, allowing exposure to cryptocurrencies without the complexities of direct trading or the higher minimum investment often required by hedge funds.

The hedge fund is managed by experts who understand the crypto market’s complexities. They use their knowledge to make informed decisions, aiming to grow the fund’s value.

Just like traditional hedge funds, these crypto funds use strategies to “hedge up” or protect against potential losses. This might involve diversifying investments or using advanced trading methods.

Some funds may specifically focus on investing in blockchain technology projects, not just cryptocurrencies.

Funds like 3AC and those associated with figures like Anthony Scaramucci have gained attention in the crypto hedge fund space.

These funds attract investors interested in crypto but who might not have the expertise or time to manage their own crypto investments.

Like any investment, there’s risk involved, and the regulatory landscape for crypto hedge funds is still evolving.

Crypto hedge funds list

There are many crypto hedge funds out there, some of which are well-known and have significant investments. You may come across lists showcasing the top or largest funds in this sector.

It’s important to note that the landscape is constantly evolving, and the size can be measured in various ways, such as assets under management, influence, or performance. Here’s a list to include:

The largest crypto hedge funds are:

  • Pantera Capital. One of the first U.S. Bitcoin funds, Pantera Capital has a strong focus on Bitcoin and other digital currencies, with a significant amount of assets under management.
  • Galaxy Digital Assets Fund. Founded by Michael Novogratz, this fund is known for its sizable investments and extensive involvement in the cryptocurrency space.
  • Polychain Capital. A leader in the field, Polychain Capital focuses on blockchain technology and has garnered significant investments from prominent venture capital firms.
  • Grayscale Investments. Known for its Bitcoin Investment Trust, Grayscale offers a range of digital currency investment products.
  • Bitwise Asset Management. Famous for creating the world’s first cryptocurrency index fund, Bitwise is a leader in crypto-based investment services.
  • BlockTower Capital. A well-known player in the crypto hedge fund market, BlockTower Capital employs a mix of professional investment practices and deep crypto knowledge.
  • Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Crypto Fund. While more of a venture capital fund, a16z has a significant focus on crypto startups and blockchain technology investments.
  • Digital Currency Group. This company is not a traditional hedge fund but has significant investments in the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry through various subsidiaries.

Crypto hedge fund that went bankrupt

Although Bitcoin was only invented in 2009, we have already witnessed the bankruptcy of several crypto hedge funds. 

The bankruptcy of a crypto hedge fund typically occurs when it fails to manage risks effectively, leading to significant financial losses. This could happen due to a variety of factors like poor investment choices, unexpected market downturns, regulatory issues, or operational mismanagement.

The downfall of a crypto hedge fund can have wide-reaching implications. 

For instance, it might result in substantial financial losses for investors, affect market confidence, and potentially lead to a stricter regulatory environment. 

The story of a bankrupt crypto hedge fund often serves as a cautionary tale in the world of cryptocurrency investments, highlighting the inherent risks and the need for careful, informed decision-making.

In the case of notable bankruptcies like Three Arrows Capital (3AC) or Alameda Research, these events have become significant moments in the history of cryptocurrency, often discussed and analyzed for insights and lessons learned.

Alameda Research 

Co-founded in September 2017 by Sam Bankman-Fried and Tara Mac Aulay, Alameda Research was much acclaimed for its trading, investments, and market-making in the cryptocurrency space.

In November 2022, following a series of financial challenges, Alameda Research, along with FTX and more than 130 affiliated entities, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

The company’s website was taken down, and Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of Alameda Research, announced that the firm was winding down its trading operations and would close.

The entire scandal started with the collapse of the FTX exchange (once valued at $32 billion), also founded by Sam Bankman-Fried. His crypto empire collapsed in a matter of days, also exposing his associates, who eventually ended up condemned for fraud. 

What Is A Crypto Hedge Fund? (Top Hedge Fund List)
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

Three Arrows Capital (3AC)

Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a Singapore-based cryptocurrency hedge fund, was established in 2012 by Kyle Davies and Su Zhu. 

Initially, the company focused on arbitraging foreign exchange derivatives before shifting to cryptocurrencies in 2017. 

3AC grew rapidly, becoming one of the most prominent crypto hedge funds. It engaged in significant investments in various blockchain projects and claimed a net asset value of $18 billion. 

However, the fund faced challenges in 2022 due to the broad decline in cryptocurrencies, particularly its substantial investment in LUNA (on Terra blockchain created by the infamous Do Kwon), which collapsed to near zero.

In June 2022, the fund’s troubles intensified as it failed to meet its margin calls and repay loans, leading to a court-ordered liquidation in the British Virgin Islands. This failure had a ripple effect on the crypto market, contributing to the bankruptcy and difficulties of other crypto firms. 

The founders, Davies and Zhu, faced legal issues, with Zhu being arrested in Singapore for failing to cooperate with the liquidation process. Their last known venture was starting Open Exchange, a new crypto-related project in Hong Kong.

Crypto hedge fund companies

Crypto hedge fund companies are specialized investment firms that concentrate on cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related assets. These companies employ a range of investment strategies to generate returns from the highly volatile and rapidly evolving crypto market. 

Their approaches can vary widely, from conservative, long-term holdings of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to more aggressive tactics like high-frequency trading or investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs) and emerging digital assets.

These firms are often characterized by their deep expertise in both finance and technology, enabling them to navigate the complex and often technically demanding landscape of cryptocurrency investments. They attract investors who are interested in gaining exposure to the crypto market but may lack the time or expertise to manage their investments directly.

However, you can always choose to do your own research before investing. 

Organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a prominent global network of audit and consultancy firms, frequently release reports on the crypto hedge fund industry. These reports provide valuable insights into the trends, performances, and overall health of the sector. 

These insights are crucial for investors, fund managers, and other stakeholders in the crypto industry. They offer a comprehensive overview of the market, highlighting both opportunities and risks. Moreover, they serve as a barometer for the maturity and evolution of the crypto investment space, reflecting how traditional financial practices are adapting to the new digital asset class.

It’s also important to always research the company offering the hedge fund to avoid any future surprises. For instance, according to the 2023 PwC report, 12% of crypto hedge funds are considering relocating from the US to crypto-friendly jurisdictions. This might mean that potential investors should pay a closer look to the way existing regulations are applied by the hedge fund company. 

Notable crypto hedge fund companies

  1. Grayscale
  2. 500 Global
  3. Pantera Capital
  4. a16z Crypto (Andreessen Horowitz)
  5. CoinShares
  6. Galaxy Digital Capital Management
  7. Morgan Creek Digital
  8. Brevan Howard (BH Digital)
  9. Systematic Alpha
  10. 10T Holdings
  11. Bitwise Asset Management
  12. BlockTower Capital
  13. Off The Chain Capital
  14. Eaglebrook Advisors
  15. ODIN88 Asset Management

Starting a crypto hedge fund

Yes, you can start a crypto hedge fund. However, this is a complex process that requires thorough planning, legal compliance, and expertise in both finance and cryptocurrency markets. 

Here’s a simplified guide on how to start a crypto hedge fund:

  • Define the fund’s focus. Decide on the specific cryptocurrencies and strategies your fund will target. Consider whether you’ll focus on major cryptocurrencies, a mix of assets, or specific geographic regions.
  • Legal structuring. Choose an appropriate legal structure for your fund, like a limited partnership or LLC, and consider the tax implications. Popular jurisdictions for registering crypto funds include the Cayman Islands, the USA, and Singapore.
  • Obtain licenses & ensure compliance. Depending on your location, obtain the necessary licenses and ensure compliance with regulatory bodies like the SEC in the USA or the Monetary Authority in Singapore. Implement strict KYC and AML procedures.
  • Raising capital. Develop a marketing strategy to attract investors, focusing on both crypto-native VCs and traditional investors. Prepare a compelling pitch and transparent terms.
  • Investor relations & reporting. Maintain clear communication with investors, providing regular performance statements and transparency in operations.
  • Assemble a skilled team. Hire professionals with expertise in trading, compliance, legal matters, and technology. The team should include portfolio managers, compliance officers, and legal experts.
  • Develop an investment strategy. Outline your approach to asset selection and portfolio construction. Implement risk management strategies and choose reliable trading platforms for executing trades.
  • Infrastructure setup. Establish a robust trading and storage infrastructure, focusing on security to protect against theft and hacking. Implement risk management systems and analytics tools for performance tracking.
  • Operational management. Set up efficient back-office functions for accounting, reporting, and administration. Choose a reputable asset custody solution.
  • Performance evaluation. Regularly evaluate the fund’s performance against set KPIs and adjust strategies as necessary.

Is it wise to invest in a crypto hedge fund?

In essence, a crypto hedge fund operates much like a traditional hedge fund but focuses on the dynamic and emerging world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. 

It’s a way for investors to engage with the crypto market through a managed, potentially more strategic approach.

Investing in a crypto hedge fund can offer exposure to the dynamic and potentially lucrative world of cryptocurrencies, leveraging the expertise of professional fund managers. 

However, this investment carries significant risks due to the inherent volatility of the crypto market, the evolving regulatory landscape, and the technical complexities of digital assets. It’s crucial for potential investors to assess their risk tolerance, conduct thorough research, and consider the fund’s track record and management strategy before investing. 

As with any investment, diversifying and not investing more than one can afford to lose is key to mitigating risks. 

For a more detailed understanding and current insights, it’s advisable to consult financial experts and stay updated with the latest market trends.