The first cryptocurrency hedge fund to receive a stamp of approval from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is shutting down over “insufficient” demand from institutional investors.
According to Financial News Prime Factor Capital, a crypto hedge fund set up by former BlackRock employees, has shuttered its operations as institutional investors have not jumped into the retail-driven cryptocurrency space.
The crypto hedge fund became the first to gain FCA approval back in July 2019, having a 147& year-to-date return at the time as the price of BTC continued to rise. It was able to managed mover than 100 million euros ($115.5 million) in assets and was looking to broaden its offering to institutional investors.
Despite managing such significant holdings and being approved by the U.K. watchdog, Prime Factor Capital struggled last year, just like other cryptocurrency-related hedge funds. Sources told Financial News it struggled to raise new funds, and failed to sell its fund management license to another firm as the performance in the sector kept swinging wildly.
Nic Niedermowwe, Prime Factor’s CEO, was quoted as saying:
We can confirm that the fund, despite having delivered an average monthly performance in excess of 4%, is being wound down due to insufficient demand from institutional investors.
Cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds had their second-worst monthly loss in nearly five years in March, according to Finance Magnates, having lost on average 27% that month, compared to the 10% lost by mainstream hedge funds. March was, it’s worth noting, when the crypto Black Thursday occurred.