Coinbase, Major Investment Firm Team up to Launch $500 Million Crypto Fund

Francisco Memoria
  • Coinbase and Wilshire Phoenix have recently teamed up to launch a fund capped at $500 million.
  • The fund is set to use a "novel approach" to help clients gain exposure in the crypto ecosystem.

Coinbase Custody, a unit of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has recently teamed up with New York-based investment firm Wilshire Phoenix to launch a cryptocurrency fund capped at $500 million.

According to a recently published press release, Wilshire Phoenix expects the fund to be launched later this year, to provide its clients exposure to bitcoin through a “novel approach” that’s reportedly set to mitigate “some of the risks” associated with the flagship cryptocurrency’s volatility.

Per the release, the investment fund “may” make it easier for financial institutions and investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It won’t, however, “simply hold bitcoin.”

Per the document, investors and financial institutions may find it hard to buy and hold cryptocurrencies as under America’s Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), their pricing models imply specific challenges. The investment firm believes its patent-pending system will provide a solution.

To limit counterparty exposure and “unnecessary additional fees” normally associated with investment funds, the firm will also not use derivatives or “any form of leverage” to help clients gain exposure to bitcoin, the press release states.

Bill Hermann, the founder and CEO of Wilshire Phoenix, stated that Coinbase Custody provides the firm a best in class platform on which to securely store digital assets.” The document adds:

While the fund is not intended to replicate a direct investment in Bitcoin. It will seek to provide investors and financial institutions with the ability to gain exposure to Bitcoin while mitigating some of the risks involved from sudden price movements of Bitcoin.

Sam McIngvale, general manager of Coinbase Custody Trust, added the San Francisco-based company is not only offering Wilshire Phoenix clients’ secure storage for their cryptocurrencies, but also the “ability to perform GAAP-compliant audits whenever the need arises.”

Coinbase, as CryptoGlobe covered, expects to wrap up this year with profits of over $455 million, up from $380 million last year, when most cryptocurrencies surged to new all-time highs. Last year, at one point, it was adding 50,000 users a day, its CEO Brian Armstrong revealed.

Recently, the host of CNBC’s “Crypto Trader” show Ran NeuNer stated Coinbase set planning for an initial public offering (IPO). Asiff Hirji, the firm’s chief operating officer (COO), recently revealed it isn’t planning to raise funds via an IPO “any time soon.”

PayPal is Cautiously Optimistic About Partnership with Libra Association

  • PayPal cautious about future with Facebook's digital currency libra. 
  • Payment platform was one of the first companies to join and support the Libra Association.

Payment platform PayPal is cautiously optimistic about its relationship with Facebook’s digital currency libra, despite being the highest-profile company to join the Libra Association. 

PayPal Backs Libra Association

In June, shortly after the official unveiling of Facebook’s libra, PayPal announced an intention to join and support the Libra Association, a collection of tech and finance companies promoting the product. 

At the time, PayPal billed the digital currency as a revolutionary product for people around the world, 

We believe in democratizing participation in the digital economy for people from all walks of life, and businesses of all sizes.

However, PayPal appears cautious about its future with Facebook’s digital currency. PayPal investor relations vice president Gabrielle Rabinovitch reiterated Sept. 12 that the company is a non-binding agreement with libra, 

It's a non-binding commitment. And obviously, I think there's a lot of work to happen before we get to that point where it becomes something more than just a very exciting idea.

She added, 

The goals and ambitions of Libra are very consistent with PayPal's overall ambitions in terms of serving the underserved; democratizing access to capital. So we very much believe in the potential of Libra.

While PayPal appears optimistic about the future of libra, the digital currency has endured months of regulatory and political scrutiny concerning its release. 

Earlier in the week, senior U.S. Treasury official Sigal Mandelker told an audience in Geneva that libra would be held to the highest standard of regulatory compliance in order to combat money laundering and terrorist funding.

 

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