In a fresh sign of the interest bitcoin has stirred among professional investors, Fortress is teaming up with fellow hedge fund Pantera Capital and two venture-capital firms to create a fund for investments focused on virtual currencies.
The new venture, known as Pantera Bitcoin Partners LLC, will be controlled by Pantera and will allow minority equity partners Fortress, Benchmark Capital and Ribbit Capital to manage their existing and future bitcoin-related investments through the fund….
Pantera, with $147 million in assets under management according to a December regulatory filing, is shifting its investment focus solely to bitcoin ventures, said Dan Morehead, the San Francisco firm's chief executive and founder. "I have been fascinated by the promise that [bitcoin] can bring changes to the way we interact with money," said Mr. Morehead. "So about a year ago, I decided to begin investing in bitcoin and devoting my full attention to it."
Pantera used to follow traditional macroeconomic hedge-fund strategies, making bets mainly on interest rates, the economy and currencies. Now, the firm's 16-person staff is "fully focused" on digital currencies and bitcoin.
Pantera, which managed investments in this field for Fortress before this agreement, has a stake in payments platform Ripple Labs and a $10 million investment in Slovenia-based bitcoin exchange Bitstamp Ltd.