US SEC Allows $10B Medallion Hedge Fund To Offer Access To CME Bitcoin Futures
Renaissance’s $10 Billion Medallion Fund Gains 24% Year to Date in Tumultuous Market. US SEC Allows $10B Medallion Hedge Fund To Offer Access To CME Bitcoin Futures
The seemingly highly lucrative Medallion Funds will be able to target CME Group’s cash-settled Bitcoin futures, according to a filing.
A secretive yet reportedly highly lucrative hedge fund now has the green light to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) futures markets.
In a brochure originally dated March 30, the United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed that Renaissance Technologies’ Medallion Funds now have access to the burgeoning Bitcoin futures scene.
Medallion Funds gets BTC futures go-ahead
According to the literature, Renaissance will offer access to cash-settled contracts from CME Group, one of the two oldest-running Bitcoin futures providers.
“The Medallion Funds are permitted to enter into bitcoin futures transactions, which Renaissance will limit to cash-settled futures contracts traded on the CME,” it states.
Renaissance’s $10 billion hedge fund recently gained notoriety in the press, having gained 24% year to date despite the tumultuous volatility plaguing traditional markets over coronavirus.
According to investors speaking to the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the month of March, which even saw Bitcoin plunge 60% in just one day, still managed to deliver 9.9% returns for the fund.
Futures resurgence continues
At the same time, Bitcoin futures have been witnessing a return to form after suffering reduced participation in previous weeks.
According to the most recent data from CME, its products reached all-time highs in terms of unique accounts last month, a combined annual growth rate of 161%.
Nonetheless, reactions to the Medallion Funds announcement underscored continued distrust of institutional investors among Bitcoin supporters. As Cointelegraph reported, suspicions last year focused on futures contract settlements artificially pressuring the Bitcoin price.
Others, such as stock-to-flow creator PlanB, have publicly refuted the idea that futures are responsible for price manipulation.
Renaissance’s $10 Billion Medallion Fund Gains 24% Year to Date in Tumultuous Market
Jim Simons’s algorithm-run firm has outperformed most funds so far this year.
Investors are dealing with pain this year, but Jim Simons and Renaissance Technologies LLC are racking up such huge gains that 2020 could be one of the hedge-fund firm’s best years ever.
The Long Island-based firm‘s flagship Medallion hedge fund has risen 24% this year through April 14, according to investors. The performance is thanks in part to a 9.9% gain in March, a brutal month for global stock markets. Medallion’s gains come even after its hefty investor fees, which include a cut of 36% or more of all trading gains and 5% of all money invested in the fund.
Medallion is only open to employees, former employees and a handful of people close to the firm. Because employees are the firm’s owners, most of the fees end up going back to them in some form. Before those investor fees, Medallion, which manages nearly $10 billion, was up about 39% for the year on April 14.
Funds that Renaissance makes available to outside investors haven’t done nearly as well as well, however, though they have rebounded lately. The Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund (RIEF), for example, was down 10.4% through April 10, investors say. RIEF has a longer holding period than Medallion. The fund focuses on U.S. shares and aims for returns that more closely track the overall market.
By comparison, the S&P 500 index has fallen 11.4% this year, through April 14, while Vanguard’s 60/40 index fell 5.9%, in line with the performance of the average hedge fund, according to industry tracker HFR. Hedge funds aim to protect investors in times of crisis but few have performed like Medallion.
Even Medallion has had its rough moments lately, though. At one point in March, the fund faced slight losses for the year before surging in the month’s second half. Some people close to the firm say the unusual volatility raises questions whether the recent gains will continue apace.
Renaissance, which manages about $75 billion, began in a drab strip mall next to a women’s clothing boutique.
It relies on mathematical models rather than intuition and judgment, an approach that can pay off in rough markets. Since 1988, Medallion has averaged annual gains of 39% after fees, and its best years include 2000 and 2008, difficult years for most investors.
Mr. Simons, who turns 83 later this month and is worth over $23 billion, is working from his Long Island home amid the coronavirus pandemic like many others at the firm, friends say. Though Mr. Simons remains Renaissance’s chairman, he mostly focuses on philanthropy. He leaves the firm in the hands of Chief Executive Peter Brown, a computer scientist who in the past has said he generally sleeps four hours or less each night. Robert Mercer, a major supporter of President Trump, stepped down as Renaissance’s co-CEO in 2017 but remains a researcher at the firm.
Behind Medallion’s recent gains is a distinct approach to investing. Rather than predict the direction of individual stocks or markets, Medallion makes the bulk of its profits betting on the relationships between equities. This strategy can be seen as a more complex version of so-called statistical arbitrage investing that others on Wall Street attempt.
The Medallion fund holds thousands of stocks at any one time, while betting against thousands of other shares and trading currencies, commodities and bond futures, according to people close to the firm.
During market collapses, most investments tend to plummet in unison, which can make it hard for Medallion to profit. That phenomenon may help explain why the fund treaded water in early March. In the aftermath of these difficult periods, opportunities often arise. Each day, Renaissance’s 35,000 computer processors comb 30 trillion bytes of data searching for mispricings.
For example, if a company fell harder than it should have relative to another stock, based on historic patterns and other factors, it could create a buying opportunity. More volatile markets create more of these mispricings.
Renaissance’s predictive models, developed by the firm’s 320 or so string theorists, astronomers and other scientists and mathematicians, are built on more than 10 million lines of computer code and rely on historic prices and other data. Preset algorithms generate all its trades, eliminating human emotion from the investing decision.
In fact, because Renaissance’s system employs elements of machine learning and is so complicated, it can be challenging for the firm’s own executives to immediately understand why the firm is doing well or poorly. Some of them believe their gains, at least in part, could result from mistakes rival investors make during challenging markets.
“The computer runs itself and we hardly ever interfere, the machine tells us what we should do,” says someone close to the firm. “Every experience we’ve had shows that humans mess up worse than machines.”
Medallion is a “medium-frequency” trading firm, generally holding its investments from “moments to months,” in the words of an employee, rather than milliseconds, like high-frequency firms. Still, Medallion also can benefit from volatile markets like those trading shops.
There may be reason to think investors should brace for continued market volatility, at least according to Renaissance’s predictive models. In late March, Medallion’s investors were given the opportunity to put more money in the hedge fund so the firm could expand its size. That move may have been made because the computers anticipate more opportunity for profits—and more volatile and challenging markets—in the months ahead.
Crypto Exchange ErisX Launches First US Ether Futures Contracts
Since being granted a DCO by the CFTC and offering digital asset futures trading in December, ErisX has expanded its offering to ETH.
Chicago-based crypto exchange ErisX has notified its members and participants that it will start offering trading on Ether futures in the United States.
According to a company blog post on May 11, ErisX said individual and institutional investors will be able to access futures contracts based on Ethereum (ETH)–USD with monthly and quarterly expirations.
The crypto exchange will introduce standardized futures contracts regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, on its existing infrastructure. ErisX said miners, speculators, hedgers and businesses running on ETH would benefit from the additional “investors, speculators, intermediaries, hedgers, miners/validators, and commercial users” as well as “more robust, liquid, and resilient markets.”
The additional offering by ErisX has been in the works for some time. The crypto exchange received its derivatives clearing organization license from the CFTC in July 2019, allowing digital asset futures contracts to be traded on its derivatives market. ErisX started offering trading on futures for digital currency products such as Bitcoin (BTC) in December.
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Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)
Disney In Talks To Acquire The Owner Of Crypto Exchanges Bitstamp And Korbit (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Exchange Gemini Rolls Out Native Wallet Support For SegWit Bitcoin Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)
Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)
Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)
Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)
Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)
How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)
Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)
Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)
Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)
The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)
Recession Is Looming, or Not. Here’s How To Know (#GotBitcoin?)
How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)
Many U.S. Financial Officers Think a Recession Will Hit Next Year (#GotBitcoin?)
Definite Signs of An Imminent Recession (#GotBitcoin?)
What A Recession Could Mean for Women’s Unemployment (#GotBitcoin?)
Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)
Goldman Is Looking To Reduce “Marcus” Lending Goal On Credit (Recession) Caution (#GotBitcoin?)
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