Valkyrie Investments announced on Tuesday that it has crossed $1 billion in assets under management (AUM), partly underscoring the volatile cryptocurrency market’s tentative recovery from a brutal fall-winter slump.
To be sure, digital tokens are a long way from the crypto market’s rip-roaring heyday back in the fall, when Bitcoin (BTC-USD) scaled to a fresh record near $69,000, but Valkyrie’s announcement showed how some crypto asset managers are positioning themselves to outlast the whipsaw action.
“From individuals … to family offices, pensions, and endowments eagerly allocating to hedge funds and trusts, our industry has a firm footing on which to continue growing through the remainder of this year and beyond,” Valkyrie CEO Leah Wald said in a press release.
The firm launched its strategy Bitcoin fund (BTF), the second SEC approved Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF), in late October, the firm now manages two other “bitcoin-adjacent” ETFs.
With approximately $46 million in AUM, the ETF side of Valkyrie’s business amounts to a marginal 5% of its bottom line, according to Bloomberg Intelligence senior ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas.
The other 90% of Valkyrie’s total assets come from custom built separately managed accounts (SMAs), six different crypto-protocol trusts for accredited investors, as well as overseeing a Decentralized Finance-focused hedge fund captained by Tom Brady’s former business manager.
Currently said to be in the process of its Series B raise, Valkyrie Investments has made an early name in the category of bitcoin ETFs.
Cryptocurrencies are still down more than 32% from $2.92 to $1.98 trillion, according to Coinmarketcap.com data, having tumbled in recent weeks in fear over the direction of monetary policy. Meanwhile, investors bought into ETFs around the time that Valkyrie launched its ETF are likely underwater.
Though the firm’s ETF assets might appear small compared with competitors, Bloomberg’s Balchunas acknowledges how important it is for crypto ETF issuers to stake a claim in the budding financial product line early. He suggested that eventually, the category for digital asset ETFs “will be massive.”
Based on data from Cerulli Associates, Balchunas pointed out in a report last week that a 2-3% crypto ETF allocation from the total market advisors could lead to a trillion dollar inflow into crypto ETFs in the next five years.
But in addition to crypto’s roller-coaster price action, regulation proves to be a major roadblock for many US financial advisors. To a survey last month from digital investment manager Bitwise, only 15% of advisors said they assigned client portfolios to crypto in 2021. The vast of those respondents cited “regulatory uncertainty” and preference for a Bitcoin spot ETF, which has yet to be approved by the SEC.
David Hollerith covers cryptocurrency for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @dshollers.
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