New York City-based Fortress Investment Group, a publicly traded company, is reportedly planning to launch a bitcoin investment fund.
It's being reported that the investment vehicle may be an unlisted Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
It appears that there might be some association between Fortress's effort and that of San Francisco-based Pantera Capital.
Pantera, which has as clients some Fortress executives, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) an investment advisor entity called Pantera Bitcoin Advisors, LLC.
The filing shows Pantera Capital as the owner of the LLC, with Pantera principal Dan Morehead as its CEO.
Listed as a hedge fund, it shows that its total value at the filing date of December 4 was $147m, with 26 investors contributing at least $250,000.
That would make the fund much larger than that of SecondMarket's Bitcoin Investment Trust. As CoinDesk has reported, that fund has been able to amass over $60m from accredited investors in its first three months.
Another ETF, filed with the SEC earlier this year, was the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, started by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, who have been large investors in bitcoin to the point of appearing boisterous. Yet the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust has been stuck in regulatory limbo since its initial filing.
Institutional interest in bitcoin has been heating up. Wedbush Securities recently released a report that was very bullish about bitcoin's prospects. The firm proclaimed that the price of one bitcoin could reach $98,500.
And Bank of America released its own report about bitcoin not long ago, saying that the distributed virtual currency has "clear potential for growth".
Fortress, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is reportedly planning to announce the fund at the Bitcoin New Years Eve Bash being held tonight at 40 Broad Street in New York City.
That location is next to the NYSE. In fact, it houses something called the NYC Bitcoin Center, an effort that has been launched to educate investors about BTC.
It's not clear whether Fortress is funding the NYC Bitcoin Center. On a Craiglist job posting for the center, it claims to be "New York's premier digital currency center".
It's expected that increased Wall Street interest will continue in 2014. Barry Silbert, CEO of SecondMarket, which created the Bitcoin Investment Trust, recently said as much to Entreprenuer Magazine.
"We're three to six months away from Wall Street dollars moving into Bitcoin in a big way," he said.
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