• Tiger has traded decentralized finance protocols, including Filecoin
  • The firm, founded in 2001, invests in both public and private companies

Tiger Global, long known for making winning bets on private blockchain startups, has for the first time started to actively trade cryptocurrencies, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One of the world’s largest and oldest hedge fund firms, Tiger joins a growing number of top asset managers on the hunt for alpha in crypto’s inefficient markets. The firm started trading crypto in recent months, the sources said.

Sources were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business dealings. A representative for Tiger, which has $90 billion of assets under management across its hedge funds and venture capital vehicles, declined to comment.

Given the success of Tiger’s private crypto plays, trading liquid tokens could be a big area of growth for the New York-based firm down the line. Indications are that Tiger has trodden lightly in the space as its institutional limited partners — including some of the largest pension funds and endowments — are only slowly warming up to digital assets as a core position in their portfolios.

“Tiger doesn’t rush into things, but I’m honestly surprised they didn’t make the move earlier,” one source said. “They definitely have the connections to understand the space from their private business. It’s just a matter of bringing on the right people for trading.”

It is not clear whether Tiger is dabbling in digital assets via its flagship fund or whether the firm has considered setting up vehicles to trade crypto outright. The latter stance would bring Tiger in line with peers including Brevan Howard, which Blockworks previously reported is poised to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for its first crypto fund.

The flagship fund of Tiger, run by founder Chase Coleman, focuses on making fundamental, long and short wagers on stocks.

In addition to exploring well-known cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, Tiger has invested in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, including Filecoin, as the firm delves into the investment prospects of Web3, sources said.

Filecoin — which has a market capitalization of just $3 billion, according to Coingecko — issues tokens to users who provide storage space for the network. Its aim is to assemble an array of data, including Creative Commons assets and historical records, that is indexable and searchable via blockchain technology.

Tiger has backed dozens of crypto startups, including Blockdaemon, BlockFi, FTX, Livepeer, Moonpay and TRM Labs.

Attend DAS:LONDON and hear how the largest TradFi and crypto institutions see the future of crypto’s institutional adoption. Register here.

  • Managing Editor
    Michael Bodley is a New York-based managing editor for Blockworks, where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and digital assets. He previously worked for the institutional investor newsletter Hedge Fund Alert. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, NBC News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Contact Michael via email at [email protected]