Crypto-Focused VC Firm Pantera’s Liquid Token Fund Lost 80% in 2022

The fund took a 23% hit in November in the aftermath of FTX's collapse.

AccessTimeIconJan 30, 2023 at 5:50 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:06 a.m. UTC

The liquid token fund of crypto-focused venture-capital firm Pantera Capital lost 80% during 2022, taking a nearly 23% hit in November alone after the implosion of centralized exchange FTX. By comparison, the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index was down roughly 27% for the year. Pantera’s fund has partly rebounded this month with a gain of over 47%, according to a January investor call uploaded to YouTube.

The Pantera Liquid Token Fund is a “multi-strategy vehicle that typically invests in 15-25 liquid tokens at any point in time” and is “predominantly driven by a discretionary strategy focused on decentralized-finance and adjacent assets,” according to the firm’s website. The fund had $198 million in assets under management and 13 tokens in the portfolio at the time of the investor call.

The fund started to navigate much of the portfolio away from altcoins and into ether (ETH) in the late spring, Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer at Pantera, said on the call. The timing would have matched up with the collapse of Terra’s USDT stablecoin and sister coin luna, which triggered the collapse of lender Celsius Network.

The fund’s top three performers for the hard-hit November period were Cosmos' ATOM token, Chainlink's LINK and Optimism's OP, while Uniswap's UNI, Solana's SOL and ether took the bottom slots, according to the call presentation. Pantera had a position in solana and sold “a lot of it” right after the FTX troubles hit the news, selling in the $20 range and exiting before the token dropped down to the $10 range, Krug said.

Optimism, a layer 2 scaling tool, has become one of the fund’s largest non-ETH positions, and was a driver of year-to-date growth alongside ether and UNI

“I think we’re just starting now, recently, to start to rotate back into some alts that we think are going to outperform ETH over the coming cycle,” Krug added.

UPDATE (18:10 UTC): Adds additional information from the call.


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Brandy Betz

Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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