'Very Difficult' to Call Bitcoin's Bottom Says Crypto Hedge Fund Manager

Alex Sunnarborg, the founding partner at Tetras Capital, a New York-based digital asset hedge fund with reportedly $30 million of assets under management (AUM), has argued that the prices of most major cryptocurrencies are still strongly correlated.

Sunnarborg, a finance graduate from the University of Florida, revealed that his firm, Tetras Capital, had shorted ether (ETH) in May 2018 - when the token was trading at around $500.

Confirming that it was his company’s “biggest win for 2018" (as ETH is now trading below $150), Sunnarborg told Forbes in an interview (published on February 19th) that cryptocurrencies “don’t have a good way to come to a fundamental value.”

Crypto Prices Still Strongly Correlated, No Way To Call Bottom 

He explained that there is no (reliable) way for him to tell if ETH is “fundamentally going to bottom at $50” as Ethereum’s native token was trading for only worth about $10 two years back.

Sunnarborg believes ether’s “short-term bottom would be in line with” bitcoin’s bottom and that if the flagship cryptocurrency “turned tomorrow and rallied”, then “ether would, too.”

According to the former research analyst at Coindesk, altcoins “generally will return more than bitcoin” in a bull market. He also shared his firm’s trading and investment strategy:

In a bear market, altcoins are still trading at a higher beta, but to the downside. In 2018, bitcoin fell about 75%, but altcoins fell 95%. [Their prices are still] strongly ... correlated, yet altcoins have a higher beta. Today, if we’re trying to hedge our exposure to this space, before we short bitcoin we look at something with a higher beta.

Millions Invested In Augur, But Only $40,000 At Stake Across All Its Markets

When questioned about whether the recent layoffs and downsizing by ConsenSys, the leading Ethereum-related development firm, is a “bad sign for the future of Ethereum”, Sunnarborg acknowledged that it could potentially slow things down - as “ConsenSys is an integral piece of the Ethereum ecosystem.” He also pointed out that there were tens of millions of dollars invested in creating Augur’s decentralized prediction markets. However, there’s only about “$40,000 of money at stake across all its prediction markets.”

This shows that there’s “this massive disconnect between how much money is still tied up in these projects and how much people actually use them”, Sunnarborg argued.

Bitcoin Surpasses $4,000 Mark After Six Weeks

When asked about whether he thinks “bitcoin has bottomed yet”, Sunnarborg remarked:

I don’t think so, [but] calling that is very difficult. … I’m [just] really thankful that we’re in the position we are right now. We can hedge ourselves, remain more neutral and not have to call that exact price or timing bottom. I’m not confident right now. Our portfolio is relatively neutral—we have cash and short positions.

Although cryptocurrency prices are down significantly from their all-time highs - when the total market cap of all digital assets exceeded $800 billion in early 2018, there have been some signs of the market starting to recover. On February 19th, bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, surged past the $4,000 mark for the first time in six weeks.

The bitcoin price is also on track to record its first green monthly candle in six months.