If you’re attending the BlockChainNW event in Seattle today make sure to say hi to our partner Geoffrey Arone . He’s speaking in the afternoon on The Future of Funding panel and is looking forward to speaking with fellow investors and token entrepreneurs.
We are still a very young hedge fund, but we have been extremely active over the last few months in making new token purchases – you can see most of our non-confidential token purchases here on our portfolio page. This list doesn’t include other tokens we have purchased on the open market (or otherwise), of course, but it gives a good selection of the types of things we have made early, pre-release bets on.
An important part of our overall investment strategy is making these bets, and so we are constantly building alliances with people and entities that can help us see a broad range of new deals, and give us unique perspectives on the teams, products and technologies involved.
Some of these relationships are more formal, and so we’ve created a special advisory board to help us find and select deals. So far we have six people, all listed on our Team page and below. These are among the most networked people in the cryptocurrency world, and they are all really decent human beings as well.
We are proud to announce Yiseul Cho, Jeremy Gardner, Natalia Karayaneva, Miko Matsumara, Will O’Brien and Dovey Wan to the Arrington XRP Capital Advisory Board:
Yiseul Cho – Founder and MD, Zen9 Ltd – Yiseul is both a data scientist and blockchain expert. Yiseul previously worked for HSBC where she led the Blockchain analytics team. In 2016 she won 1st place in the Consensus Hackaton. Prior to that she was a founding partner of Blockchain Partners Korea and also worked at Facebook. Yiseul founded Asian Crypto Girl power, a group of influential female entrepreneurs in the Asian crypto space that supports female developers and entrepreneurs. She also founded Hyperledger London, the largest Hyperledger community in the world. She serves on the board or advises 2 blockchain conferences, PolicyPal Network, ICON Foundation, MediBloc, Waves Platform, Nucleus Vision and The Bee Token. Yiseul holds Masters degrees from École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris and MIT.
Jeremy Gardner – Founder and Managing Partner, Ausum Ventures – Jeremy Gardner is the Co-founder and GP of Ausum Ventures, a venture firm investing in blockchain technology for the betterment of humanity and the world. While attending the University of Michigan, Jeremy founded the Blockchain Education Network (BEN), a global educational nonprofit and cofound Augur, the decentralized prediction market platform, and led their ICO— the first ever on Ethereum. He most recently worked as an EIR and investing partner at Blockchain Capital, where he invested in several startups and started a new company, SAAVHA, database security firm. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Distributed Magazine. Lastly, Gardner helped structure the landmark Blockchain Capital security token ICO (ticker: BCAP).
Natalia Karayaneva – Founder and CEO, Propy – Natalia is the founder of Propy, a startup that raised > $15MM in its 2017 token sale to build a decentralized title registry for real estate. Propy uses the Ethereum blockchain technology in its system for reliably and cost-effectively automating the entire process of sales, transfer, and records management for global real-estate transactions. Natalia is an expert in token sales, ICO legislation, real estate, and token economics for physical assets. In addition to her domain expertise in real estate, Natalia is a recognized blockchain expert and a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide. Karayaneva is a managing owner of real estate development firm MP Group Ltd, an alumna of the University of Oxford, software engineer, and an expert in sustainable urban development. She founded her first company at the age of 19.
Miko Matsumara – Blockchain Expert, Advisor and Investor – Miko founded crypto exchange Evercoin and is a Venture Partner with BitBull Capital, a cryptocurrency fund-of-funds. He is a token holder in FileCoin, Brave, CIVIC, Propy, Polymath and an investor in Lyft. Miko has raised over $50 million in venture capital for Open Source startups and over $200M in ICO capital. In addition to advising many top crypto startups, Miko also leads the Crypto Underground meetup in San Francisco and is a well known speaker at many cryptocurrency and blockchain events. He holds an Master’s degree in Neuroscience from Yale University where he worked on abstract computational neural networks.
Will O’Brien – Blockchain Expert, Advisor and Investor – Will was founder and CEO of BitGo from 2013-2015, limited partner and advisor to Blockchain Capital since 2013, and is an investor and advisor to pioneering projects (Civic, Orchid, Photon, Nodle, and Telegram). Will’s angel investment and advisory portfolio includes fintech, gaming and VR, media, healthtech, data and analytics, and cloud services. Prior to his work in crypto, Will was an executive at Keen IO (acquired by Scaleworks) Big Fish Games (acquired for $885 MM by Churchill Downs) and TrialPay (acquired by Visa). Will has been featured in the WSJ, NYT, Forbes, Fortune, AllThingsD, BusinessWeek, and various industry press. Will holds a B.A. in CS from Harvard and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Dovey Wan – Managing Director, DHVC (Danhua Capital) – In her professional career, Dovey has worked at eBay as a product manager before getting into venture investment and joined DHVC (Danhua Capital) as part of the founding team. Since 2013, Doveyhas become a crypto enthusiast and has been immersed in the blockchain world. Ever since she invested in Dfinity, Omisego, Kyber Network, 0x, Chia network, Messari, Handshake and she’s the board of Theta Network and few stealth ones. Dovey has an extensive experience with both Chinese and US crypto community, she’s now serving as a supernode nominator for Huobi Hadax and has been an active advocate for gender equality and self-regulation for crypto industry.
When we announced our fund in late 2017 I knew that we’d be doing a lot of business in Asia, but I’m still surprised that so many of the new cryptocurrency startups that we’ve invested in are from that region (many of our portfolio companies are listed here).
That’s why I was so excited to travel to Asia over the last two weeks to meet the crypto community there. First up was the World Digital Asset Summit in Singapore, put on by FBG Capital. Then I went to Hong Kong to meet the community there.
Highlights of the Trip:
I spoke on an investor panel that included FBG Capital, Polychain, Hashed, Kenetic Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, Shuttle Fund and Blocktower Capital.
I assisted portfolio company Propy with meetups in both Singapore and HongKong, and visited the Huobi offices in Hong Kong.
I met countless new entrepreneurs and investors, and we closed three new deals while I was there (to be announced shortly).
There is an explosion of entrepreneurship in Asia in general, and crypto specifically. I plan to spend more time in Asia this year. The optimism there is infectious, and I came back feeling fully recharged.
Next up, New York!
We announced the creation of Arrington XRP Capital a few days ago, on November 28 2017. We were lucky to have the opportunity to do it at Coindesk’s Consensus Invest event in New York in an on stage interview with Pete Rizzo. I’m very thankful that Pete and the rest of the team at Coindesk were willing to add us to the packed agenda at the last minute.
We also had some great press coverage of the announcement. Here’s the major coverage and tweets:
Silicon Valley Business Journal: 2 new cryptocurrency hedge funds pop up in Bay Area — one led by Michael Arrington
FINalternatives: TechCrunch Founder Arrington Debuts $100M Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund
New York Business Journal: Bitcoin: A look at the cryptocurrency’s crazy week (Video)
invezz: Hedge Funds and Upcoming ICOs
Cryptocoins News: Ripple Splash: TechCrunch Founder Launches $100 Million XRP Hedge Fund
Brad Garlinghouse (CEO of Ripple): Whoa! $100M
#XRP fund courtesy of tech visionary @arrington. One of the largest crypto funds ever.
Natalia Karayaneva (CEO of Propy): $100m fund launched by
@arrington at #consensus is the first one denominated in crypto – #XRP. ICOs now will promote accepting #Ripple
Thanks to Kiersten Hollars and Emmalee Kremer at The Hatch Agency for their excellent help organizing the announcement.
On July 1, 2013 I purchased my first Bitcoin for $102.41. There was a fee of $1.17 added by the exchange for doing the sale.
From that point on, I was hooked. Or, I was at least a crypto enthusiast. I learned as much as I could about blockchain and related technologies emerging during those years, and we made quite a few investments at my venture fund, CrunchFund.
Nearly a year ago I turned things up to 11. I began investing in token offerings – sometimes called ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings – and also invested a significant percentage of my personal net worth into building a portfolio of cryptocurrencies.
Today, at the Consensus Invest conference in New York, I’m announcing that I’m part of a team launching a new $100 million cryptocurrency hedge fund called Arrington XRP Capital. The fund has commitments for over $50 million so far, and we plan to begin trading in the next few weeks.
The fund is denominated in XRP, which is as of today the third or fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization (depending on how you calculate it), at ~ $27 billion. Investors contribute XRP to the fund, not dollars or other fiat currency. All distributions, fees, etc. will also generally be paid in XRP (with some exceptions for LPs desiring different currency distributions).
We will invest in a wide variety of cryptocurrency assets and related technologies. The primary focus will be on existing tokens. The fund will also invest a portion of its assets in ICOs, as well as more traditional investments such as private equity offerings.
First, having a hedge fund denominated in a cryptocurrency makes things far easier for investors who already hold a lot of cryptocurrency. No need to convert back to fiat and then later back to a cryptocurrency as we make investments. Everyone saves fees and time that way.
Second, XRP, developed by Ripple, is particularly useful for us. While we don’t have a commercial relationship with Ripple (they are not investors in our fund, for example), we are still able to use their super-fast and secure settlement infrastructure, as anyone else can. That means non-U.S. investors in our fund will have an easier time investing in us and making redemptions later. No need to rely on ancient fiat methods for cross-border currency transfers that are slow and laden with fees.
We’ll pay our own fees and salaries out in XRP as well. We want to “eat our own dog food” and be active users of crypto currencies in as many parts of our fund operations as possible, not just investors. This will make us better investors.
I’m just one partner in the new fund. Joining me as partner will be Heather Harde, who was the CEO of TechCrunch, a company that I founded in 2005 and sold to AOL in 2010. Heather and I have been friends and business partners since 2006. Prior to TechCrunch Heather was a M&A executive and investment banker.
Our third partner is Geoffrey Arone (recently in the crypto press here), who is an experienced product and technology executive with experience in crypto dating back to the early days of 2011. Geoffrey and I are leading our investment team.
All three of us have known and worked with each other for over a decade.
Today well over 10% of my net worth is in cryptocurrencies and that will soon increase substantially as I’m also investing in Arrington XRP Capital.
Some people think this is crazy and that we’re on the edge of a bubble-bursting meltdown in cryptocurrencies values. After all, a year ago the total market value of all cryptocurrencies was just shy of $14 billion. Today it’s over $300 billion. XRP alone has increased from $0.007 to $0.271 (a 38x jump) over the last year. “This is the time for everyone to get the hell out of cryptocurrencies!,” many people argue, “Not jump in with both feet.”
Others, however, argue that we’re just getting started in crypto. I’m one of those people. A year ago I was just a crypto enthusiast. Now I’ve altered my career path to focus entirely on cryptocurrencies and related technologies. And this isn’t just a short term focus. With this new fund I’m signaling my intent to spend the rest of my career on cryptocurrencies. There will be dramatic ups and downs along the way, but we’re in this for the long haul.
More updates soon.