The ability to move with the times is a sign of any good business, so by that measure, Pantera Capital must be pretty good. After a 2003 start in traditional investments, the San Francisco-based fund began to move into blockchain and crypto-related projects a decade later.
By various estimations the business manages assets worth anywhere between $335 million to $724 million, admittedly a pretty wide range there, with fluctuations in the last few months making precise figures hard to pin down. To date, Pantera Capital has sunk a sizable chunk of change into 72 startups and projects that have a crypto leaning, more than $200 million in fact. This has been sourced from outside the venture capital realm and has ramped up over time. In 2016 the figure was just $13 million, ballooning to $25 million in 2017, and then hitting $175 million by 2019.
Some of Pantera Capital’s backers are not crypto industry insiders, which shows that this once ‘fringe’ area is experiencing a shift in recognition. Financial backers are nothing if not hard-nosed pragmatists, so if Pantera Capital is steering towards crypto then we can assume that’s a solid endorsement of the industry’s potential.
The fund takes an unsurprisingly bullish stance on the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain, with CEO and founder, Dan Morehead, predicting at the start of this summer that Bitcoin may reach $42,000 by year’s end and $356,000 by 2022.
But that kind of optimism is to be expected from a firm like Pantera Capital which has battled through its share of struggles. For example, in 2018 it owned up to the fact that it might be compelled to issue refunds and pay fines for something like a quarter of its initial coin offering portfolio. That represents the proportion of the portfolio which may be in violation of American securities laws. Also, in the midst of the 2018 bear market, Pantera Capital’s crypto fund had shed about 77% of its value by the end of October. Not the kind of reading that investors would prefer, but not the kind of challenges that the fund will back down from either.