Falcon Global Capital closed its bitcoin fund because of slow demand, said co-founder Brett Stapper.
The fund, which began in February, had attracted about 25 clients, who contributed from $25,000 to $10 million each to invest in the virtual currency, Stapper said in an interview. While many more called to inquire about bitcoin, they didn’t invest, in part because bitcoin’s price slipped more than 50 percent this year, according to CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.
Falcon refunded the money to its clients in November, and has decided to refocus on consulting about bitcoin and how it works, Stapper said. The company is expanding its team of four staff members to 10 people based in San Diego and New York to advise institutions, corporations and governments, he said.
“Everyone is having some difficulties in raising funds,” Stapper said.
Bitcoin price index funds are losing their appeal because many consumers can now easily acquire bitcoins directly from websites, and there are also many price index funds competing for clients’ attention, he said.
A number of bitcoin funds and investment-management firms - - including Falcon, Binary Financial and The Bitcoin Investment Trust -- popped up in the last 1-1/2 years, as bitcoin’s price rose from about $13 to about $1,000 last year. Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of Winklevoss Capital Management, are working to introduce a bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
“The technology is really, really exciting,” Stapper said. But, he says, whether or not bitcoin is worth investing in at this point “is unclear.”