Citi Veteran Leaves Wall Street to Launch $1.5B Blockchain and Digital Assets Fund

The New York-based business will make venture investments in crypto companies, trade digital assets and create a “play-to-earn strategy” in the gaming space.

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key takeaways

  • Hivemind has chosen Algorand, a layer-1 blockchain, as its first strategic partner, the company’s founder Matt Zhang told Blockworks
  • Zhang hopes what he’s doing will shed some light for both Citi and many Wall Street firms that they should transition into the digital asset ecosystem sooner rather than later

Citi’s global co-head of structured products trading, who left the company after 14 years in early October, has launched Hivemind Capital Partners, a $1.5 billion venture focused on investing invest in the blockchain and digital asset ecosystem.

The New York-based business will invest in crypto companies, trade digital assets and create a “play-to-earn strategy” in the gaming space, according to Hivemind Capital Partners founder Matt Zhang. 

The firm will also invest capital in crypto infrastructure, blockchain protocols, open internet, programmable money and the virtual world, noted Zhang.

“I think the institutional adoption of digital assets and cryptocurrencies, in general, is inevitable,” Zhang told Blockworks. “I think the space has passed an inflection point. I think it’s the next paradigm shift and this is the largest fundamental infrastructure shift since the internet [was invented],” he added. 

In addition to the launch, Hivemind has chosen Algorand, a layer-1 blockchain, as its first strategic partner, Zhang said. He added that the company wants to leverage more layer-1 companies and is already in discussions with several others.

“Eventually, I see that we will fabricate a multi-chain world — I’m personally a multi-chain maxi,” Zhang said. “I think you won’t have one chain. You’ll have multiple chains that collaborate, compete and work together. And I think that’s great because layer-1 is very unique because it’s an open source software and a great way to help companies to be able to scale,” he added. 

Separately, from Zhang’s vantage point, he said he hopes what he’s doing will shed some light on why Citi and many Wall Street firms should transition into the digital asset ecosystem sooner rather than later.

“Obviously, given how they build, they want to take their time, but from my personal perspective, I think everybody’s going to get there,” he said. 

“You have to be open-minded because we’re talking about the paradigm shift, which means by definition to challenge conventional wisdom — everything you believe,” Zhang said. “I think after all, changes will happen whether you believe it or not. Technology will advance whether you believe in it or not, and I think it’s super important to be open-minded and to really be curious and try to embrace what’s happening,” he added.


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