Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) came into worldwide attention in 2018, when over $11.6 billion flowed through them. The CME Group launched Bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017, giving large funds their first regulated exposure to digital assets. As digital assets move towards the mainstream of finance, institutional investors have followed. This study comparatively analyzes Hedge Fund investment in digital assets against that of other institutional investment firm types (Private Equity and Venture Capital) by analyzing their crypto holdings and rebuilding an equally weighted portfolio for each fund. Under these conditions, the study succeeds in finding significant differences between hedge fund results in the sample and those of private equity/venture capital firms.
Specifically, this study shows through the composite portfolios built that digital asset investments made by hedge funds generate a much higher return than that of private equity and venture capital firms. Average hedge fund investments have much higher trading volumes and market capitalizations than those made by private equity and venture capital firms, suggesting that PE and VC firms are taking higher risks by investing in new and little-known crypto projects. The results of this study signal that the hedge fund business model is much better suited for the high-risk, high-volatility cryptocurrency market than strategies employed by venture capital and private equity firms.
Bachelor Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.)
College of Business Administration
Wing, Adam B., "Hedge Fund Investment in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 774.