Billionaire Steven Cohen Ventures into Crypto with Hedge Fund Investment

Cohen has invested in Arianna Simpson's Autonomous Ventures hedge fund.

Renowned billionaire and hedge fund manager Steven Cohen in the latest big name in finance to join the cryptosphere, according to a Bloomberg report.

More specifically, Cohen has reportedly decided to invest in Autonomous Ventures, a hedge fund focusing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The investment was made through Cohen Private Ventures, an initiative that was built by Cohen’s family offices in 2010.

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Autonomous Ventures has Attracted a Number of Noteworthy Investors

Autonomous was launched last year by early-stage investor Arianna Simpson. The fund has also managed to secure investments from a number of high-profile firms and individuals, including Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Union Square Ventures, and Craft Ventures Co-Founder David Sacks.

“I’ve only brought on partners that I think can be very much value-add beyond their capital,” Simpson said in a Fortune report.

According to Fortune, this isn’t the first time that Cohen Private Ventures has worked with Simpson. In 2015, the company invested in Simpson’s Crystal Towers Capital fund, which has a focus on young companies.

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Autonomous Focuses on ‘Digital Cash’ Networks

Autonomous has placed a relatively small percentage of its capital into major cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but Simpson is focused on investing in blockchain firms whose products are seeking to improve the experience of crypto as digital cash. In other words, those working on increasing scalability, anonymity, and transaction speed.

She has also invested in blockchain projects that are focused on expanding the infrastructure of the crypto space. One of these is 0x, a blockchain protocol that makes it possible to create and integrate decentralized exchanges in decentralized applications (dapps.)

Cohen’s foray into crypto comes at a rather grim time for cryptocurrency hedge funds in general. In June, the Financial Times reported that cryptocurrency hedge funds were down by an average of 35 percent since January; only eight percent of the top 25 crypto hedge funds had reported profits this year as of April.

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