Picture: Dado Ruvic, Reuters
Picture: Dado Ruvic, Reuters

Hedge fund billionaire throws himself into crypto after early doubts

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Sep 16, 2021

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Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen was until recently a bit of a sceptic when it came to cryptocurrencies. Then his son, a “cryptomaniac”, helped change his mind.

“He really convinced me this was something I needed to do,” Cohen, the founder of Point72 Asset Management and owner of the New York Mets, said on Tuesday at the SALT conference. That was part of a journey that included meeting with as many people over the past six months as he could to educate himself about the possibilities.

“Once I decided there were opportunities, and I thought this could be a space like the internet ‒ it could be incredibly transformational ‒ I wasn't going to miss this,” Cohen said in a discussion in New York titled “Generating Alpha in Markets and Baseball” and moderated by Skybridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci.

Cohen, 65, who has a net worth of $11.1 billion (R161bn), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has since thrown himself into the world of crypto in both a personal capacity and at his firm.

This week, he announced he was investing in Radkl, a quantitative trading firm for digital assets. That was after Recur, a technology company that develops experiences allowing fans to buy and sell non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, said Cohen's family office, Cohen Private Ventures, invested in its $50 million Series A funding round. Cohen, meanwhile, told Scaramucci that Point72 was building crypto-trading capabilities at the firm.

His interest in the virtual realm extends beyond crypto: Cohen expressed a fascination with the metaverse, or a vision of a virtual world where people interact through avatars.

“There’s some far-out ideas out there, about how people are going to spend their time," he said. "Your mind can run wild,” he added, about how people will interact in the metaverse, potentially buying virtual real estate and virtual outfits for their avatars. ‒ Bloomberg


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