Marini Launches Crypto Fund Of Hedge Funds As Sector Booms

Veteran entrepreneur and venture capital executive Rick Marini has launched a crypto-focused fund of funds, believed to be among the first of its kind, as investment interest in the cryptocurrency sector explodes.

Marini has launched the fund, named Protocol Ventures, with $1 million of internal capital, according to a Bloomberg article Tuesday. He ultimately wants to raise $100 million for the vehicle, which will invest in ten crypto-focused hedge funds. 

The crypto hedge fund space is booming, albeit from a small base. After eleven funds launched in 2016, some 84 have debuted so far this year, the article said. Institutional investors remain largely on the sidelines of bitcoin itself, due to illiquidity fears and an inability to go short with scale, but the ICO craze and a raft of startups in everything from exchanges to blockchain applications presents a wide range of opportunities.

One of the fund’s goals is to deliver some diversification to its investors, Marini said to Bloomberg. Volatility in crypto is not for the faint of heart, so spreading exposure across funds makes sense. 

Marini was head of digital innovation at Hearst Corp. and has founded three technology startups, the article added.