Pantera’s Morehead Scores Big Payoff on Bets Beyond Bitcoin

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Dan Morehead, a veteran Bitcoin investor, is making more money at his hedge fund firm by diversifying beyond the most popular cryptocurrency.

“If you’re just long Bitcoin, it’s kind of like in the 90s being just long Yahoo -- you know, there were 30 other really important companies to invest in,” Morehead, the head of Pantera Capital Management, said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg. “Now there are literally 100s of tokens that are liquid enough to trade.”

Pantera’s Morehead Scores Big Payoff on Bets Beyond Bitcoin

Pantera’s liquid-token fund soared 166% this year through June 20, compared with a 24% gain for Bitcoin in the same period. Morehead, in the interview taped Friday, said he’s also investing in Audius, which he says is similar to a “decentralized SoundCloud” because it allows users to send audio files while using the Ethereum network. Polkadot is another of his crypto investments.

The Pantera founder was an executive at Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management earlier in his career, and is now part of a handful of power players in crypto. Morehead said crypto will create a parallel financial system, with blockchain and decentralized finance, or DeFi, connecting buyers and sellers of assets without a bank. Morehead’s firm has $3.2 billion under management, according to its website, and launched its first fund in 2013, when Bitcoin was still $65, compared with more than $32,000 on Monday.

Morehead was joined in the conversation by Mike Novogratz, the founder of Galaxy Digital, who said crypto is a rare investment that’s become truly global and has the potential to overtake some currencies in the next five years.

Novogratz said that worries about currency debasement will fuel more crypto adoption.

“There are already 200 currencies on earth, Bitcoin is just number 201,” Morehead said, adding that the U.S. dollar is unlikely to be replaced, but a currency such as the Venezuelan bolivar could be in his lifetime. But mostly, “you’ll just see it as a complement.”

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