Tobam, the independent manager originated in France, has announced it is launching an unregulated alternative investment fund (AIF) targeting institutional and qualified investors to access the cryptocurrency market.
The Tobam Bitcoin fund has been set up in France and will track the value of Bitcoin, which the manager argues of all the cryptocurrencies to be launched off the back of blockchain technology offers the largest market capitalisation and longest track record. Blockchain is the description of technology that allows for distributed ledgers, which enable the creation of new bitcoin units, but also identification of the currency in circulation.
Tobam says that hitherto it has been challenging for investors to access cryptocurrencies in what it terms “a more convenient and safer vehicle”. Its Bitcoin fund will mitigate “the risk of loss and theft” it added.
And while Bitcoin does come with high volatility, it does offer diversification, which is something that Tobam’s strategies seek to offer in general – it applies a quantitative and systematic approach, and as such argues that it has also built up in-house capabilities in technology, risk control and straight through processes needed to support the new fund. It now houses a cryptocurrency research and development team including “computer specialists, engineers, researchers and risk management experts”.
As a house, it stated: “Tobam believes that the bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general have the potential to become durable standards in financial and saving markets.”
Yves Choueifaty, president of Tobam, noted that the launch of the fund follows a year of research into the possibilities available in the cryptocurrency market. He stressed the diversification element, while Christophe Roehri, head of business development, noted that by taking on the usual challenges facing direct investors into bitcoin – including security, custody and managing changes to the protocols around how bitcoin works – the fund vehicle would “facilitate access” for those investors seeking exposure to the asset.
As an unregulated AIF, the fund is being offered globally on a private placement basis.
Tobam, which was set up in 2005 by Choueifaty, counts the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers) and Amundi as minority shareholders.
Tobam’s fund launch reflects the significant ongoing interest by fund providers in developing solutions for clients to access digital currencies (see below).