An activist crypto hedge fund launched today, and it’s backed by Digital Currency Group and Peter Thiel | Coinbase moved $5 billion in crypto as part of an upgrade it was worried would take a toll on the market

Bitcoin $3,732                    Ethereum $101.16 
Crypto Mkt Cap $121B              BTC Dominance 53.90%  

“I sense the institutional world is coming. I think they still are.” Mike Novogratz, Founder Galaxy Digital

The Big Block

Carl Icahn. Bill Ackman. Dan Loeb. 

These investors are some of the best known in the hedge fund industry for being so-called activist investors, stock-traders who not only make a bet on the direction of a company but actively use their shareholder power to influence company management. Now, crypto has an activist investor of its own: Alexander Liegl.

Liegl doesn’t have the same pedigree as the aforementioned rock stars, but he has high hopes for his new fund, Layer1, which will make investments in key crypto projects and then build out supporting infrastructures for those investments. It is a bold move given the market backdrops and comes at a point when many funds are abandoning the old buy and hold investing model. Still, the firm’s model is unique, says Liegl.

“The angle is we take very concentrated bets on blockchain protocols that we are interested in,” he said. “And then we build the tech around them and accumulate exposure by buying it and mining it and then we have a very hands-on approach to actively shape the investment we hold.” 

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Around The Block

Coinbase to relaunch as Coinbase Earn, the latest iteration of a product with many former identities

Coinbase announced on Wednesday the next evolution of, dubbed Coinbase Earn. The new product will start as an educational platform where users can earn small amounts of cryptocurrencies by learning about an asset’s utility and its underlying technology. Priced at slightly more than $100 million last April, was Coinbase’s first significant acquisition. Recode reported that a large part of the deal’s appeal was to bring on a founder of Balaji Srinivasan as Coinbase’s CTO.

Despite significant buzz, what was once the best-funded company in crypto has now transformed, through several pivots, into a niche offering. A spokesperson for Coinbase told The Block that Coinbase will be scaling up via Coinbase Earn, piece by piece. According to the spokesperson, “The first piece is today. Beyond that, we don’t have specific plans to share at this time.” — More

Coinbase moved $5 billion in crypto as part of an upgrade it was worried would take a toll on the market

Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, announced Wednesday the successful completion of an upgrade made to its cold-storage infrastructure. As part of the process, the firm migrated $5 billion worth of crypto from the old system (dubbed generation 3) to the new system (generation 4).

"Last week we successfully completed an on-blockchain migration of approximately $5 billion (as valued the week ending Dec. 7, 2018) of cryptocurrency from generation 3 to generation 4 of our cold storage infrastructure," a press release said. — More

Vitalik Buterin donates $300k in ether to startups building on Ethereum — More

Crypto storms back, and it might be because traders are closing their short positions — More

Survey: 44% of online investors believe education is the main barrier to trading crypto — More

Belgium’s financial regulator adds 100+ new crypto trading websites to its blacklist — More

Coincheck, an exchange that suffered a $500 million hack, in line for license — More

Crypto is ‘close to the end of the move on the downside,’ says Mike Novogratz — More

A trader who started shorting bitcoin at its top just closed his position — More

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