Blockchain Bites: BlockTower's Returns, Minecraft Goes Blockchain, ID2020 Shakeup

BlockTower Capital investors have seen 73% returns over the hedge fund's lifetime.

AccessTimeIconMay 28, 2020 at 5:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 11, 2022 at 7:27 p.m. UTC
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BlockTower Capital, a digital asset hedge fund, managed to more than double its lifetime return in the first four months of 2020, according to investors and documents reviewed by CoinDesk. This news comes a day after Goldman Sachs denounced cryptocurrencies as an investment.

Meanwhile, Samsung and Minecraft have rolled out new blockchain integrations and Russia is mulling appending mortgage documents to its national distributed ledger. Here's the story:

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Top Shelf

Digital vs Traditional Assets
BlockTower Capital’s hedge fund has returned 33% profits in the first four months of 2020, two BlockTower investors said. Despite the havoc coronavirus wreaked on markets, the fund did better in those four months than the stock index did in any full year since 1997. And as a result of the climb, the fund returned 73% for those who invested from day one and held on through to last month. MaiCapital has launched the “Bitcoin+ Investment Fund,” an actively managed, quant-driven hedge fund to track bitcoin’s performance. (The Block) Yet, Goldman Sachs analysts noted yesterday that while cryptocurrencies like bitcoin “have received enormous attention,” they “are not an asset class.”

Blockchain Integrations: Minecraft & Samsung
Minecraft, one of the world’s most popular video games, has a new plug-in enabling players to place blockchain assets directly into their servers. While Samsung Blockchain users in the U.S. and Canada can now connect to Gemini’s mobile app to buy, sell and trade crypto after the companies built an integration between the two applications. 

Investments and New Offerings
Genesis Global Trading has launched a derivatives trading desk to be led by former Galaxy Digital staffer Joshua Lim. The new derivatives desk will expand the company’s suite of products as it aims to attract more institutional clients to the newly branded Genesis Prime, announced last week. Canaan plans to issue $12.4 million worth of shares in an employee benefit plan. (The Block) The Stellar Development Foundation has invested $550,000 in the micropayments provider SatoshiPay. (Decrypt)

The Decentralized Web
Elizabeth Renieris resigned from the ID2020 Alliance, which aims to bring digital identities to billions of people, citing the organization’s opacity on digital immunity passes, corporate influence and the risks of applying blockchain to immunity passes. While Torus Labs has unveiled a new identity solution, DirectAutha, for blockchain-agnostic dapp logins. Handshake, which airdropped an estimated $100 million worth of HNS tokens to developers, has attracted thousands of participants who have spent more than $10 million of those tokens. Handshake aims to decentralize the internet’s domain-name infrastructure.

The National Stage
Russia’s central bank is considering putting mortgage records on Masterchain – a government-backed distribute ledger project now in testing with leading banks. Speaking during an online meeting with the country’s parliament, the State Duma, the Bank of Russia’s first deputy chief, Olga Skorobogatove, said a previously launched trial on a decentralized depository system for digital mortgage bonds proved successful.

Market Intel

Chainlink Outperforms
During a year when traditional assets like U.S. stocks are floundering and bitcoin is up 27%, Chainlink more than doubled, making it the top-performing digital asset among the top 10 ranked by market capitalization, according to OnChainFX. The coin’s market value is now almost $3.8 billion. New data suggests that many of the project’s devoted fans are holding the LINK token as a long-term investment. The data suggest the Marines are sending their tokens to either their own wallets or Chainlink smart contracts. The percentage of LINK supply held by the top 1% of addresses has grown by almost 25% in the past year, according to Glassnode. 

COVID Charity Poker

Crypto vs COVID Charity Poker Tournament
Hold ‘Em for a cause on May 31, when crypto figureheads come together to play poker for charity. Buy in with fiat or crypto for a chance to play against Ryan Selkis, Brock Pierce, Hailey Lennon, Ran Neuner, Charlie Lee and more for a chance to win two bitcoins. 

Ante up at least one hour before first bet. 

CoinDesk Podcast Network

The History of Innovation
Matt Ridley, author of the “Rational Optimist,” joins The Breakdown to discuss economic history and possible futures of prosperity’s most important driver: innovation.

The Breakdown: Money Reimagined
As clarity emerges amid the COVID-19 crisis, what have we learned about the battle for the future of money? Does the dollar reign supreme, are the euro or China’s digital yuan gaining ground or does an alternative like bitcoin stand a chance? 

The fourth and final episode of The Breakdown: Money Reimagined poses the big questions this podcast microseries has explored with speakers and panelists from Consensus: Distributed, CoinDesk’s virtual summit held May 11-15. 

These voices include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, the Winklevoss brothers, former CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, YouTube influencer and beauty mogul Michelle Fan, The Chainsmokers, esteemed economist Calota Perez and more. Subscribe here.

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UPDATE (MAY 28, 17:45 UTC): The headline and lede of this article have been edited for clarity.


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