Crypto Asset Manager in Rio Is Hiring 15 for New York Expansion
(Bloomberg) -- A Brazil money manager focused on cryptocurrencies is opening an office in New York and hiring as many as 15 employees there to expand in the U.S.
Hashdex Gestora de Recursos Ltda. is seeking executives for institutional sales, research, marketing and advertising, according to the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s co-founder.
“We first thought of launching our firm in the U.S. in 2018, but we only wanted to operate in regulated markets, and Brazil was more advanced in regulations at the time,” Marcelo Sampaio, Hashdex’s chief executive officer and a co-founder, said in an interview. “Now that the U.S. is opening up, we are going there, we are going global.”
Hashdex’s other co-founder, Bruno Caratori, is moving to New York from Palo Alto, California, to help build the business, which oversees 5 billion reais ($920 million). In Brazil, the company is planning to increase the team by about 30 people, and hired former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Carlos Amarante as partner and head of distribution. Priscila Mendes, a former executive at Banco BTG Pactual SA, has joined as director of investor relations.
“It’s hard to hire in New York, the market is very hot there,” Sampaio said, adding that the firm has been operating in the city with three people in a WeWork office.
Hashdex said in May it raised about $26 million from investors including SoftBank Group Corp., Coinbase Global Inc. and venture capital firm Valor Capital Group. Other investors included Brazil’s Igah Ventures, Globo Ventures and Canary. The asset manager is using the capital to start an advertising campaign, and hired Andrea Cunningham, founder of Cunningham Collective, to develop its global branding.
The firm earlier this year launched Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index Fundo de Indice, which the company said at the time was the world’s first exchange-traded crypto fund. It traded about 1.29 billion reais in August. By comparison, the Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin Servicos Digitais Ltda. traded 621 million reais that month, and one of the top global crypto bourses, Binance, traded 2.65 billion reais in the Brazilian markets, according to Sampaio.
Hashdex launched two other crypto ETFs in August in Brazil: Hashdex Nasdaq Bitcoin Refer and Hashdex Nasdaq Ethereum Refer. The plan is to offer other ETFs, as well as active-traded funds, on platforms run by firms including XP Inc., the biggest brokerage in Brazil, and BTG.
In the U.S., the firm started in August the hedge fund Victory Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index in partnership with Victory Capital Holdings Inc. It also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for what Hashdex said would be the first multicrypto ETF in the U.S., which would follow a crypto index developed in partnership with Nasdaq.
Hashdex is already the biggest crypto asset manager in Latin America, and has plans to expand into other nations in the region, Sampaio said, declining to specify which ones.
“We want to show to traditional players that the crypto markets can be simple, safe and regulated,” he said, adding that after a rough start, it’s persuaded many big banks, family offices and money managers in Brazil to invest in the asset, which he called an important “reserve of value.”
The total market value of all cryptocurrencies is about $2 trillion, up from less than $1 trillion at the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
“We want the crypto markets to go beyond the young, the early adopters, the gig-economy workers and the libertarians,” Sampaio said.
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