Nov 28, 2017

TechCrunch founder launches crypto hedge fund

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Michael Arrington, founder of pioneering tech news site TechCrunch, is raising up to $100 million for a hedge fund that will primarily invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Why it matters: There have been more than 100 crypto hedge funds launched this year, but this one is unusual in that it will be initially denominated in a cryptocurrency called Ripple XRP, rather than in dollars or another fiat currency. Arrington argues the structure will make investments and redemptions faster (and eventually cheaper).

The new effort is called Arrington XRP Capital, although it has no commercial relationship to Ripple. Its partners include Arrington, former TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde and a "well-known crypto guy" as a silent partner who will work on trading function. Around half of the $100 million target is already committed, according to Arrington.

In addition to buying cryptocurrencies, the fund will invest in initial coin offerings (primarily for new tokens issued on top of Ether) and perhaps a few more traditional VC deals for blockchain-based companies.

Arrington, who had led a VC firm called CrunchFund until stepping back last year to focus on his health, views crypto as the new Internet:

"People thought the Internet was a bubble in 1996, and it was. I don't know if crypto right now is a bubble but, even if it is, it doesn't matter because eventually it will be a multi-trillion dollar industry. That's the historical analogy argument for crypto hedge funds. The faith-based argument is that in the last eight or nine months I've gone from being a Bitcoin and Ether enthusiast to this is all I'm doing now and all I plan to do for the rest of my career."

Go deeper

In photos: How the coronavirus outbreak is impacting on daily lives

A woman receives a rose delivered to her via a drone in Lebanon's coastal city of Jounieh. Photo: Joseph EidAFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on the lives of people around the world.

The big picture: The first known case outside China was in Thailand on Jan. 13. Since then, global infection numbers have surged, and governments around the world have responded with measures designed to curb the spread of the virus — ranging from lockdowns to physical distancing enforcement. There were more than 723,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections by early Monday, per Johns Hopkins data). However, life hasn’t stopped because of the pandemic, but it has changed. Here's how.

See photosArrow27 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Global death toll surpasses 34,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 34,000 people and infected over 723,000 others globally, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 10,700 deaths early Monday.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30,

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 722,435 — Total deaths: 33,997 — Total recoveries: 151,991.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m.. ET: 142,502 — Total deaths: 2,506 — Total recoveries: 4,856.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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