Značka: Pantera Capital

Crypto Biz: An eye-opening chat with Mr. Wonderful, April 7–13, 2022

The past seven days have reminded me of how lucky I am to have forged a career in the Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency industry. Cointelegraph sent a contingency of reporters to the Bitcoin conference in Miami, where we got to chop it up with billionaires, business leaders and hedge fund managers. I had the privilege of sitting down with Canadian businessman and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, who actually revealed most of his crypto portfolio. I also got to interview Bloomberg’s senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone, who shed light on crypto market volatility, as well as Mark Yusko of Morgan Creek Capital. Yusko and I laughed at traditional 60/40 portfolio strategies, and I got to ask him a curious question: Who in their right mind is buying bonds today?This week’s Crypto Biz gives you a nice recap of Bitcoin 2022, as well as the latest funding and business news from the world of blockchain. Related: Bitcoin 2022 Miami: Conference recap and major themesMr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary reveals his top crypto picksKevin O’Leary made it abundantly clear to Cointelegraph last week that Bitcoin and crypto are the future. There was so much I wanted to ask Mr. Wonderful, but I decided to keep it as succinct as possible, given that his entourage was hovering behind the set. O’Leary told the Bitcoin conference in Miami that BTC mining can actually save the world by incentivizing green energy production. I decided to pick his brain on this matter by asking for more concrete examples. I also asked him about stablecoin regulations, institutional appetite for digital assets and, of course, what his current crypto portfolio looks like (you’ll be surprised by the answer).BlackRock joins stablecoin issuer Circle’s $400M funding roundWatch what they do, not what they say. New York-based hedge fund manager BlackRock has thrown its weight behind stablecoin issuer Circle, leaving little doubts about its intentions to enter the crypto space. BlackRock, like several other firms, is backing Circle’s $400 million funding round, which is expected to close sometime this quarter. In February of this year, Circle officially minted its 50 billionth USD Coin (USDC), giving the company a nearly 30% share of the stablecoin market. BlackRock wants in on the action, probably because it recognizes the enormous potential of stablecoins in maintaining the United States dollar’s global hegemony. The asset manager has also been working behind the scenes to expand its footprint in the digital asset space. Pantera to close Blockchain Fund soon after raising $1.3B — double the targetCryptocurrency hedge fund manager Pantera Capital is about to close a massive $1.3 billion investment fund dedicated to early-stage blockchain startups — and you still think this crypto thing is a passing fad? The capital raise is more than double the $600 million Pantera initially pledged in May of last year, which was right around the time that altcoins were hitting record highs. Nearly a year later, and with crypto prices faltering relative to expectations, you’d expect institutional appetite for crypto to have waned. Not so. Smart money is actively looking to uncover the next major crypto and blockchain plays. They don’t care about short-term price action. Related: a16z’s Chris Dixon tops ‘Midas List’ by turning $350M into $6B in 2021MetaMask expands institutional offering by integrating new crypto custodiansDecentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are finally getting the tools to participate in the wider crypto economy. This week, leading wallet and browser extension MetaMask announced a strategic partnership with four crypto custodians — Gnosis Safe, Hex Trust, GK8 and Parfin — to enable DAOs and institutional clients to access various decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web3 activities. For institutions, custodians and custodial wallets play a vital role in storing private keys and facilitating transaction approvals, making MetaMask’s new offering a potential boon for adoption. Have we finally found a gold standard for DeFi integration? Only time will tell. Don’t miss it!With inflation making front-page news again, Mark Yusko reminded us that price increases aren’t the real problem. “This isn’t inflation. This is currency devaluation,” Yusko said in an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph at Bitcoin 2022. The founder of Morgan Creek Capital went on to explain the role of the Federal Reserve in undermining your purchasing power. I also got ask him about his Bitcoin price outlook and whether a 60/40 portfolio strategy is still feasible. You can watch the full interview below.[embedded content]Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse of the business behind blockchain and crypto delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

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Pantera to close Blockchain Fund soon after raising $1.3B — double the target

Crypto hedge fund giant Pantera Capital is set to close a blockchain fund next month that is backed by around $1.3 billion worth of capital. The Pantera Blockchain Fund was announced in May last year, with plans to raise $600 million to invest in early-stage tokens, venture equity, Web3 firms and tokens with strong liquidity. It has since surpassed that target significantly, with the firm revealing last month that the fund had topped $1 billion. The latest $1.3 billion figure was noted during an April 12 investor conference call regarding the company’s new $200 million Pantera Select Fund that will back “growth stage” crypto firms that are ready to generate revenue, as opposed to firms in early funding stages that being sought out via the Blockchain Fund. While a specific closing date for the fund wasn’t detailed, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead suggested it could be in early May: “We’re wrapping up the Blockchain Fund, I think it’s gonna be about $1.3 billion and over the next three or four weeks, and as some of the big institutions that have very detailed due diligence processes wrap up, we will be done with that fund.”Moving forward, Morehead also noted that the company will then shift its focus to closing the Blockchain Fund II 2023, which will “essentially be the same” as the former variation of the fund and look to obtain further deals in the “early-stage private token space, and new deals in the early venture space.” “We will come back with a larger and more diversified and probably longer investment period growth-stage fund, in say 2024,” Morehead added. The Pantera Select Fund is also expected to close in early May with around $200 million worth of capital. The firm stated that the fund will be used to support and scale companies that are already open for business: “The Fund is expected to invest in about 10 companies over the next 18 months or so. We will primarily focus on more mature, revenue-generating companies than our typical Seed and Series A venture investments.”Pantera stated that the fund will invest in firms across multiple crypto sectors such as blockchain infrastructure, nonfungible token (NFT) platforms, Web3 gaming, the Metaverse, exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi). Related: Hedge fund report says Bitcoin price is ‘at a relatively inexpensive place’In the firm’s April 5 newsletter, the Pantera CEO also stated that the funds will be “smaller, more targeted, and therefore more concentrated than a typical growth fund” as he emphasized his bullishness on having multiple deals already in place: “For the first time in our nine years, we have three very compelling growth-stage deals locked in all at the same time. That catalyzed us to offer a special fund to help Limited Partners gain exposure to these growth-stage deals plus seven to nine more we will invest in over the next year.”We are now -56% below the 11-year exponential growth trend. The markets have rarely been so cheap relative to the trend.Crypto is undervalued in my opinion.More thoughts here: https://t.co/JKVGi8BHwR pic.twitter.com/95F32y6RPc— Dan Morehead (@dan_pantera) April 6, 2022

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Crypto funds register largest weekly inflows since December

Inflows into cryptocurrency investment funds rose sharply last week, offering cautious optimism that investors are broadening their exposure to digital assets despite geopolitical uncertainty and monetary tightening from central banks.Digital asset investment products registered $127 million worth of cumulative inflows for the week ending March 6, according to CoinShares data. A CoinShares representative told Cointelegraph that this was the highest weekly inflows since Dec. 12, 2021. The increase was also significantly higher than the $36 million of inflows registered the previous week. Like in previous weeks, Bitcoin (BTC) products recorded the largest weekly inflows at $95 million. Bitcoin fund flows have increased for seven consecutive weeks. Ether (ETH) funds saw inflows totaling $25 million, which was the largest in 13 weeks. Inflows into multi-asset investment products also increased by $8.6 million. Year-to-date, Bitcoin funds have seen $166 million in cumulative inflows.Institutions are bullish on #Bitcoin! The amount of BTC held by public companies has gained significant market share from that held in spot ETFs. https://t.co/DZP2AlMXlh— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) January 3, 2022Crypto markets have exhibited a higher correlation with public equities since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which means that digital assets have been negatively impacted by legacy finance’s shift to a more risk-off environment in recent months. That shift was largely prompted by the Federal Reserve’s plans to begin normalizing monetary policy. The recent events in Ukraine have also negatively impacted demand for higher-risk investments, which include crypto. Related: Rate hikes, CPI and war in Europe — 5 things to watch in Bitcoin this weekBitcoin is trading below its 11-year trend — a region it has dwelled in for only 12.7% of its history. Source: Pantera CapitalHowever, according to crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital, the correlation between stocks and crypto is a “short-lived thing.” As CEO Dan Morehead noted, since 2010, correlations between Bitcoin and the S&P 500 usually spike over a two-month period before decoupling. Morehead noted six downtrends of the S&P 500 over that period.

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NFT infrastructure startup Rarify raises $10M from Pantera Capital

NFT infrastructure startup Rarify has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Pantera Capital at a valuation of $100 million. The backing from Pantera Capital appears significant as the company is one of the top venture capital firms in crypto. One of Rarify’s primary offerings is an NFT-commerce-focused application programming interface (APIs) that enables firms to launch and integrate user-friendly marketplaces in their platforms. The API also allows minting and porting NFTs between different blockchains. Speaking with Forbes on March 3, Rarify co-founder Revas Tsivtsivadze stated that the company aims to simplify NFT buying and selling similarly to “how Square made it super easy to accept payments.”Tsivtsivadze highlighted the check-out process of marketplaces such as OpenSea, which he argued has something “like a 14-step process” that could be cut down to as little as three steps. The latest funding round also adds to a $2 million seed round from late last year that included participation from Pareto, Eniac Ventures, and Protocol Labs, to name a few. The firm intends to use the funds to scale up its employee count and launch new products with its partners. The company currently provides NFT embedding services that enable owners of websites such as blogs or stores to integrate simplistic NFT buying and selling features. Rarify is also working on a data API that can track NFTs across multiple blockchains, verify a user’s NFT profile picture, and gauge the value of specific NFTs.The show of faith in a new NFT firm comes amid a difficult time for the sector. Cointelegraph reported yesterday that the number of unique NFT buyers on secondary markets had dipped 12% in February, while NFT search volume on Google has dropped around 60-70% since late January. Related: OpenSea updates banned countries list sparking decentralization debateHowever, it may be a brief blip in the market as the focus of late has been shifted to the use cases of cryptocurrencies concerning the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Rarify has also directly been hampered by the situation. Tsivtsivadze told Forbes that four of its total 14 employees are currently based in Ukraine, including the head of engineering and chief technology officer. He said they are located in “two of the hot spots” in Kyiv and Kharkiv, but has maintained communication with them throughout.

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Crypto 'best place' to store wealth during Fed rate hike: Pantera CEO

The CEO and founder of leading blockchain venture fund Pantera Capital, Dan Morehead, stated that digital assets will be the “best place” to store capital following the potential fallout of interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Investors across stock and crypto markets are currently fixated on the direction the Fed might take to combat rising inflation which topped 7.5% as of this month. Bitcoin and crypto markets have often moved in correlation to trends in the stock market, however, Morehead argued in his Feb. 16 newsletter that bonds, stocks, and real estate will cop the brunt of the Fed‘s “massive policy U-turn,” in relation to hiking interest rates. Despite the crypto market suffering a downturn since late 2021, the CEO suggested that digital assets will be the “best place” to store capital during the fallout of the Fed’s actions: “I think our markets will decouple soon. Investors are going to think: bonds are going to get crushed as the Fed goes from the only buyer on Earth to seller. Rising rates will make equities and real estate less attractive.”“So, where does one invest when both stocks and bonds are falling? (Normally they are negatively correlated.) Blockchain is a very legit place to invest in that world,” he added.#Bitcoin is down -19% year-on-year — during a period when the Fed printed $5 trillion — seems cheap.The Next Mega-Trade: https://t.co/kfWepItKpe pic.twitter.com/MgGz2bD6BB— Dan Morehead (@dan_pantera) February 17, 2022To add to his point, Morehead also highlighted a previous statement he made during a conference call with investors earlier this month in which he pointed out that asset classes such as gold and crypto don’t directly correspond to interest rates as bonds do. “Whereas blockchain isn’t a cashflow-oriented thing. It’s like gold. It can behave in a very different way from interest-rate-oriented products. I think when all’s said and done, investors will be given a choice: they have to invest in something, and if rates are rising, blockchain is going to be the most relatively attractive,” he said. Related: Biden expected to issue executive order on crypto and CBDCs next week: ReportMorehead admitted that while the crypto market appears to have responded to Fed’s movements of late, the value proposition of digital assets has remained the same, while the decreasing prices may also have been a result of the U.S. financial tax year coming to a close:“Some of crypto selling pressure has been unintended tax positions. Imagine a trader actively buying and selling BTC, ETH, XRP, etc. Great year. Made a ton of money. Kept it all in the markets.”“There were $1.4 trillion of cryptocurrency capital gains created last year. That could have caused a decent chunk of the recent sales,” he added. He did note, however, that there could be a lot and ups and downs before the crypto market goes on to surge again.

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