Reality Shares Set To Launch $100 Million Crypto Hedge Fund, After Its First Ever Blockchain ETF

Omar Faridi
  • Asset management firm Reality Shares is planning to launch a $100 million crypto hedge fund.
  • The investment firm's new crypto hedge fund announcement follows the successful launch of its blockchain-ETF in January.

Reality Shares, an asset management firm and blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuer, is reportedly planning to launch a $100 million crypto hedge fund.

Notably, soon after the small asset manager introduced its blockchain-ETF (Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy China ETF) in January, the investment company’s assets under management increased by over $100 million.

Over 100 Crypto Hedge Funds In 2018

According to a source working closely with the privately owned firm, $25 million has been committed so far to the crypto hedge fund, which is capped at $100 million. Reality Shares’ fund preparations come at a time when over 100 cryptocurrency hedge funds are expected to be launched in 2018, as noted by Crypto Fund Research.

Despite the crypto market shedding over $600 billion since January, it appears that the capital pouring into the volatile digital currency ecosystem is still on track to match, or even exceed, the 150+ crypto hedge funds launched last year.

Additionally, Business Insider noted that California-based Reality Shares’ crypto hedge fund will be “a mix of arbitrage, venture, and directional strategies” and it will join a market of over 366 crypto-asset funds. Moreover, the $100 million investment is also part of the asset manager’s focused expansion efforts into the crypto market.

Only 28 Crypto Hedge Funds Over $100 Million

While it might seem that there is considerable investor interest, the crypto industry is still “really struggling” with capital, as pointed by blockchain investor Meltem Demirors. Notably, a closer look at the numbers by Crypto Fund Research indicates that only 28 crypto hedge funds currently have over $100 million under management.

But when looking at the bigger picture, the entire market capitalization of the crypto market was only around $20 billion in January 2017. Since then, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies has increased by 10x to currently over $200 billion. However, many market watchers such as Goldman Sachs’ investment advisors have said that cryptocurrencies “will not retain value”, as its recent economic-outlook report tended to focus more on the significant drop in crypto prices, after reaching all-time highs in December 2017.

Wall Street Firms Getting Serious About Crypto

Interestingly, even though Goldman Sachs has been critical of digital currencies, it is still reportedly planning to launch a crypto trading desk. Meanwhile, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) also recently announced that it will be launching its own digital asset trading platform called Bakkt.

These developments will be encouraging to the crypto-economy at a time where crypto-assets are sliding across the board, as it suggests that traditional financial market institutions are beginning to take the industry more seriously.

Chinese Yuan 'Inversely Correlated' with Bitcoin, Amidst US-China Trade Wars

Since January 2018, China and the US have been involved in an intense trade war in which both countries have significantly increased tariffs on imported goods and services.

Due partly to the rising tension between the two countries, the Chinese yuan (CNY) has been losing value against the USD. During the same time period, the price of bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptoassets has been surging.

As noted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the value of BTC, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, increased by 26.5% to $7,878 during the time period from May 5 to May 17. Notably, US President Donald Trump had announced on May 5 that he would further increase tariffs on goods imported from mainland China.

Chinese Yuan Weakens as Nation’s Government Responds to Increased Tariffs

The SCMP pointed out that the yuan dropped to its lowest level since the past six months after the Chinese government responded to Trump administration’s decision to impose higher tariffs on China.

Commenting on the price fluctuations of both the yuan and bitcoin, Garrick Hileman, a Macroeconomics Researcher at London School of Economics (LSE) and Head of Research at Blockchain.com, remarked:

We are observing a strong inverse correlation between the [Renminbi] RMB’s value and bitcoin, meaning that recent RMB declines over trade tensions have been closely matched by increases in the value of bitcoin.

“Correlation Does Not Necessarily Equal Causation”

Hileman also mentioned that we “cannot be 100% certain” that the bitcoin price has been increasing due to heightened concerns regarding trade tensions and the corresponding decline in the value of the yuan. The blockchain researcher stated:

Trade tensions and declines in the RMB’s exchange rate as correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Hileman, who earned his Phd from LSE, revealed:

This is not the first time we’ve seen significant increases in the value of bitcoin taking place alongside yuan concerns.

He added that there’s “growing recognition of bitcoin as ‘digital gold’ and it being used as a hedge against various macroeconomic risks.”

“This Year, the Narrative Is Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin”

According to the SCMP, bitcoin’s price may have surged recently due to the generally positive remarks made about it at the Consensus 2019 conference.

Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, has also confirmed recently that the narrative this year has been mostly about Bitcoin. Demirors revealed that both institutions and retail investors are “feeling good” and are “more confident” about the long-term potential of Bitcoin and the evolving ecosystem that supports it.