Former Citi banker launches $1.5B crypto fund, taps Algorand as first partner

The crypto economy continues to lure top talent from Wall Street. Matt Zhang becomes the latest industry veteran to jump ship.

A Wall Street veteran with over 14 years of experience has launched a new venture fund dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, offering further evidence that smart money investors are pivoting to the emerging world of digital assets. 

On Monday, former Citi executive Matt Zhang introduced Hivemind Capital Partners, a $1.5 billion multi-strategy fund designed to bootstrap promising crypto plays and “institutionalize crypto investing.” The fund will prioritize projects focused on building crypto infrastructure, virtual worlds and programmable money, and will also trade digital assets as part of its underlying strategy.

Hivemind’s first technology partner is Algorand, a proof-of-stake protocol that is increasingly focused on creating infrastructure for the global financial industry. Algorand is a top-20 blockchain project, with its native ALGO token valued at $11.2 billion in total market capitalization, according to Coingecko.

Zhang described blockchain technology as a “paradigm shift” and said his firm will provide crypto entrepreneurs with infrastructure support that is not currently available within traditional asset management models. However, the company has yet to announce any major funding.

Venture capital has flooded the cryptocurrency industry this year, with major funds allocating billions of dollars towards promising startups. Successive funding rounds have given birth to at least a dozen crypto unicorns, a term used to describe startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more.

Zhang’s Hivemind is one of a small handful of multi-billion-dollar crypto funds. As Cointelegraph reported, Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz launched a $2.2 billion crypto fund in June, which was the largest ever at the time. In November, crypto investment firm Paradigm revealed a $2.5 billion portfolio dedicated to crypto companies.

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