Pantera Capital adds blockchain coins to venture capital fund

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Dan Morehead’s Pantera Capital Management, which calls itself the first U.S. bitcoin investment firm, is buying other digital coins.

Pantera Vice President Paul Veradittakit said the San Francisco-based firm is “opportunistically” adding blockchain-based coins to its $25 million venture fund. Among other investments, it plans to buy tokens of 0x, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange protocol, when it holds its initial coin offering.

“It’s a new class of fundraising where investors can get exposure to really great teams and really great products,” Veradittakit said in a June 2 interview.

Pantera also manages a fund that invests exclusively in bitcoin, in which Fortress Investment Group has a stake. Veradittakit declined to say how big the bitcoin fund is, or whether Fortress is an investor in Pantera’s venture fund.

Other firms with dedicated token funds are San Francisco-based venture capital firm Blockchain Capital and hedge fund Polychain Capital.

There’s been a boom in token issuance this year, with sales expected to climb to about $600 million, compared with $100 million issued in 2016. Tokens have doubled their prices on average since their start of trading, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while bitcoin is also trading near a record.

Pantera’s Veradittakit isn’t concerned about the surge in prices as the market should continue to grow once a larger number of institutional investors are able to participate in the sector.

“Wait until the mainstream gets wind of this and we’ll see many bigger ‘bubbles’ going forward,” Veradittakit said. “Some of these companies will fizzle out, but people will learn about investing in this ecosystem and finding where the real value. We’ll see lots of great successful companies come out of this.”

Bloomberg News