Although Autonomous Partners has cast a wide net with its blockchain-related investments, the fund has stayed away from XRP due to concerns about centralization.
Autonomous Partners, a recently-launched cryptocurrency and digital asset investment fund run by Arianna Simpson, has bolstered its war chest with the support of a very prominent investor, according to a Thursday report by Fortune. Through Cohen Private Ventures, hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen (best known for S.A.C. Capital) has apparently made an investment in Autonomous Partners. The magnitude of Cohen’s investment has not been disclosed.
Simpson’s fund already counts Union Square Ventures, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and Craft Ventures among its stakeholders.
While Autonomous Partners holds some bitcoin and Ethereum, it appears that the bulk of its portfolio will be dedicated to projects that address major challenges in the blockchain/cryptocurrency industry including privacy, scalability, and speed.
“It’s still up in the air if people want to do a number of thing [sic] on the blockchain,” said Simpson. “We’re still figuring out what needs one and what doesn’t. But It’s clear they want to trade, and they want to play games.”
Interestingly, Ripple’s XRP hasn’t made the cut for the new fund. This is due to concerns about the level of XRP’s centralization, and the possibility that the US Securities and Exchange Commission will treat the digital asset as a security. In April, Gary Gensler (former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission) said he saw a “strong case” for the securities designation of XRP.
At present, Ripple is embroiled in a class action lawsuit on the matter. The company has hired former SEC chair Mary Jo White to aid its defense.