Just two months ago billionaire investor and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban tweeted his disapproval of Bitcoin, saying investment in the cryptocurrency was a “bubble”. Yesterday the Dallas Mavericks owner marked a remarkably swift volte face by investing an undisclosed amount in crypto VC fund 1confirmation, which plans to pour $20 million into “legal vehicles designed to help investors pre-purchase tokens or equity prior to an ICO (initial coin offering).”
1confirmation is headed up by CoinBase and Runa Capital alum Nick Tomaino, who told Forbes: “I’m most excited by entrepreneurs building new projects, and there’s no fund right now that’s solely focused on investing in both tokens and projects at the earliest stage of project development.”
Cuban, who likened cryptocurrencies to gold in June (“except of course gold makes nice jewelry”), praised Tomaino’s acumen, telling CoinBase: “I think Nick is one of the sharpest minds in the space, and I’m a big believer that there will be transformational apps built on blockchain.”
1confirmation will initially make investments in the $100,000 to $500,000 range, and marks a significant change in the way hedge fund managers across America are viewing cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s value has increased 350% since the beginning of 2017, while the value of Ethereum, another cryptocurrency gathering in popularity, has risen 2,000% in the same period.
Tomaino’s fund is not the first in the space, either: last year Numerai, founded by South African Richard Craib with backing from the likes of Union Square Ventures, became the first hedge fund to focus purely on cryptocurrency–and even launched its own currency, Numeraire.