Hedge Fund Billionaire Stephen Cohen Backs Crypto-Focused Venture

Francisco Memoria
  • Hedge fund billionaire Stephen Cohen is set to invest in a cryptocurrency-focused fund, founded by early advocate Arianna Simpson.
  • The fund, Autonomous Partners, reportedly focuses on privacy-centric cryptocurrencies and firms working on blockchain scalability.

Hedge fund billionaire Stephen Cohen, founder of Point72 Asset Management, is reportedly getting in on the crypto space by backing a cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund created by Arianna Simpson, an early cryptocurrency advocate.

According to a report published by Bloomberg, citing an anonymous sources, the billionaire is going to invest in the hedge fund, Autonomous Partners, through his Cohen Private Ventures. Simpson’s hedge fund is reportedly backed by other well-known entities, including Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, Union Square Ventures, and Craft Ventures co-founder David Sacks.

The hedge fund is said to only seek investments from partners that “can be very much value-add beyond their capital.” Cohen Private Ventures’ Managing Director, Andrew B. Cohen, is also managing Point72 Asset Management, which has over $24 billion in its portfolio.

Autonomous Partners, founded in December 2017 when most cryptocurrencies were at their all-time highs, reportedly invests in privacy-centric cryptocurrencies, projects developing crypto infrastructure, and companies working on blockchain scalability. A small part of its portfolio also consists of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.

Speaking to Fortune, Arianna Simpson stated:

It’s still up in the air if people want to do a number of thing on the blockchain. We’re still figuring out what needs one and what doesn’t. But It’s clear they want to trade, and they want to play games.

Arianna Simpson

One cryptocurrency her fund hasn’t invested is in Ripple’s XRP. According to her, its lack of regulatory clarity turned Autonomous Partners away from the cryptocurrency, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may deem it a security. As CryptoGlobe covered, SEC chairman Jay Clayton has clarified decentralized cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH aren’t securities.

On Ripple’s XRP, she stated:

I have a lot of concerns about the level of centralization there, and I have regulatory concerns if what they have issued is a security.

Arianna Simpson

Notably cryptocurrency-dedicated hedge funds have recently been taking off. Per Autonomous Research, 249 opened, 70 percent of which did so last year. Last month, most were down by about 34 percent year-to-date.

Cohen’s venture has reportedly had previous partnerships with Simpson, as it invested in her Crystal Towers Capital venture in 2015. Per Simpson, Autonomous Partners is currently only focusing on areas where it sees long-term growth.