Crypto Fund Bitwise Raises $4 Million in VC Funding

Cryptocurrency investment startup Bitwise has raised $4 million in seed funding.

Backing the San Francisco-based startup in the raise are investors including Kholsa Ventures’ Keith Rabois, General Catalyst’s Hemant Taneja and Blockchain Capital, as well as Naval Ravikant, Suna Said, Adam Ludwin, Adam Nash and Elad Gil, among others.

The funding comes as the firm officially unveils its HOLD 10 Private Index Fund, which is pitched as a way for accredited investors in the U.S. to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency market without actually having to buy the digital assets.

First announced in October, HOLD 10 will focus specifically on the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, allowing members to simultaneously invest in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and other major cryptocurrencies within the wider $466 billion market.

Bitwise intends for HOLD 10 to be a passive fund for its users, allowing them to simply invest in the fund and let it handle the rest. The fund will account for hard forks and “airdrops” of free tokens, and will follow trading volume to establish the most promising tokens in which to invest.

Bitwise co-founder Hunter Horsley explained:

“For example, in November, bitcoin was up 58 percent and other top 10 coins like bitcoin cash, dash, and monero were up over 100 percent. As a result, the HOLD 10 Index was up approximately 64 percent while having around 37 percent less volatility than bitcoin.”

Bitwise put its index through testing from the start of 2017 and found that, had it been launched at the start of January, HOLD 10 would currently be up 1,750 percent, Horsley said.

HOLD 10 was launched in a bid to make it easier for people to invest in cryptocurrencies – especially those who may not have the means to manage their own portfolio of digital assets.

“We constantly hear people say that they’d like to invest but it’s too complicated and risky to actively manage a portfolio yourself,” Horsley told CoinDesk in an email.

Man and coins image via Shutterstock

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