The well-know Fortress Investment Group (FIG) is preparing to launch its own Bitcoin fund during 2014. Although the information about the project is still scarce, there are already strong rumors that confirm the creation of the fund, which will be larger than SecondMarket.
The news was disclosed by CNN during the last day of 2013. This first US-based investment vehicle dedicated only to cryptocurrency – called The Bitcoin Investment Trust – was created in September, beating all the efforts made by the Winklevoss twins to be the first players in this game. While their project remains waiting for a legal answer, SecondMarket made it happen and now Fortress, a publicly traded company, wants to boost the market.
Back in October, Michael Novogratz, principal and co-chief investment officer of macro funds at Fortress, said (quoted by Bloomberg) that people should “put a little money in Bitcoin” and then “come back in a few years” because “it’s going to be worth a lot”. He also admited to owning some cryptocurrency: “I have a nice little Bitcoin position. “Enough that I’m smiling that it doubled”.
According to CNN, there are several “breadcrumbs” revealing Fortress’s true intents. The group acquired Koru Ventures last year, a provider of loans to tech companies. The goal was to reportedly launch an IP finance group.
One of Koru’s main faces, and now a new employee at Fortress, is Steven Waterhouse, the former chief technology officer of RPX. On the 30th, his LinkedIn profile said that he had just become a partner on an unnamed Bitcoin fund. But after Dan Primack, the CNN journalist in charge of this story, tried to contact Waterhouse about the Bitcoin reference, the fund mention disappeared from the LinkedIn profile and was replaced by a simple acronym: TBD.
The project will probably have something to do with a new Bitcoin-related fund recently raised by the San Francisco-based Pantera Capital, which is connected to several Fortress executives and has filed a new investment advisor entity with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) called Pantera Bitcoin Advisors, LLC.
This entity, listed as a hedge fund with a total value of $147 million, will have Pantera’s boss, Dan Morehead, as CEO.