Performance analysis of the top cryptocurrency asset managers and hedge funds (ROI, drawdown, month-to-month) and summary of their strategies for 2021 and 2022.
Crypto funds are a relatively new type of investment vehicle that arose as a result of the growing awareness and interest in cryptocurrencies. Investors who want to participate in the volatile, but often very lucrative crypto markets without the need to learn how the technology works, can participate in these funds.
The strategies that each of the funds may use fall into one of the following categories:
In the following chapter, we will look into fifteen different crypto funds. We will look at their most recent performance and how they manage their investor’s capital (plus what they charge for it). But first, let us determine how exactly will we measure the performance of the funds.
To fully understand the scope of measuring crypto funds’ performance we would need to introduce concepts like benchmark strategies, risk factors, series regressions, risk-adjusted performance, and much, much more. There is certainly a time and place for that, but for simplicity purposes, we will look at just the most important things:
When comparing the funds against each other we will use data from the fact sheets of the companies, and convert everything into a monthly percentage gain/loss. We will analyze the timeframe from January 2021 until the end of July 2022, as this is the most reliable period for the current market condition.
While many crypto funds recorded astonishing returns during the first golden years of Bitcoin, they did very poorly in the recent market crash. For investments from now on, it is vital to look at the most recent performance to determine what can stand the test of time.
We will use the Eurekahedge Crypto-Currency Hedge Fund Index as an additional benchmark for comparing the following funds. The Eurekahedge is an equally weighted index of 14 constituent funds. The index is designed to provide a broad measure of the performance of underlying hedge fund managers that allocate to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The index does not contain duplicate funds and is denominated in USD.
In the last 12 months, the index lost -5.46%, with a maximum drawdown of -51.29% between April and June 2022. Considering the annualized return of +91.33% of the index since its inception in 2013, it is evident that we are in a crypto winter right now. The good news is that it is far from the 2014 and 2018 crashes (so far).
Every fund that manages to outperform Bitcoin over at least 12 months can be considered successful, and those that do better than the Eurekahedge Crypto Index can be named exceptional. Let’s see how our funds compare:
Below are two tables for an in-depth overview. In table 1 we are going to look at the monthly returns in 2021 with an annualized and average performance included. Afterward, we will look at the performance in 2022 (from Jan 1 to July 31), again monthly, annualized, and averaged.
One Click Crypto was just phenomenal in 2021, returning +200.22% over the whole year (double the average) with a max drawdown of just -18.55% during May.
ICONOMI and Icoinicic Capital are the two other funds that have made better returns than the Eurekahedge Index benchmark. Some of the crypto funds were started after January 1, 2021, so the annualized data for them (*), is not complete Six of the funds failed to outperform Bitcoin.
As we can see from the table above, the economic scene changed drastically in 2022, sending most of the previously successful funds deep down into a recession. The passively managed funds dropped astronomically, following the leading crypto assets that they were pegged to. Almost all of the actively managed funds failed to adapt to the new patterns.
Those that implement AI trading or sophisticated algorithms are standing on top currently. Crypto Alpha performed decently with only a -18.95% loss, compared to Bitcoin’s -49.58% and Eurekahedge’s -38.65%. One Click Crypto really shined with just a -3.71% loss, thanks to its AI technology.
Now, let us break down each of the funds and see how they do individually.
Crypto Mutual Funds operate like traditional mutual funds. The fund represents a pool of investors’ capital that is actively managed by a fund manager who gets paid for the work with a management fee. Crypto mutual funds are publicly available, highly regulated (usually), and have lower entry requirements.
Rivemont Crypto Fund
The Rivemont Crypto Fund launched on December 14th, 2017, and is aimed at qualified Canadian investors. It is currently the actively managed cryptocurrency fund with access to the most tokens in Canada. The fund uses both a technical and fundamental approach.
The fund charges a 1–2% annual management fee depending on the class, and a fixed 20% performance fee each year when certain results are reached. The minimum initial investment in the Fund is $500 for Series A Units and Series F Units. Their Series B units fall under the classification of a crypto hedge fund.
Overall the fund returned -0.2% since inception and the worst month for the fund was Jan 2018 when it netted -33.1% with fees included. In the last 12 months, between January 1, 2021, the Fund has returned -21.94% compared to Bitcoin’s -19.51% and Eurekahedge Index’s +48.64%.
Incrementum Crypto Gold Fund
The Incrementum Crypto Gold Fund invests in a balanced portfolio of gold, crypto, and silver securities. The fund is broadly positioned in precious metals and cryptocurrencies. Precious metal accounts, ETCs, gold, and silver mining stocks, and options are used to implement the allocation. The strategic asset allocation is one-third gold, one-third silver, and one-third cryptocurrencies and is actively managed within target ranges.
The crypto mutual fund utilizes an active asset allocation with daily liquidity and active portfolio management. The minimum investment for share class R and P is €1. For share class I the minimum investment is €500.000 (again this falls into the hedge fund category.) Regardless of this small detail, both the EUR I and EUR R share classes showed similar results with -14.06% being the average since the fund’s inception in March 2021.
The management fees for the fund range between 0.9% and 2%, while the performance fee is 10%. The maximum drawdown was -38.86% and the performance since January 2021 is -19.78%, which is almost 1;1 to Bitcoin’s -19.51%.
15 FiCAS Active Crypto ETP
15 FiCAS Active Crypto ETP is the world’s first actively managed Exchange Traded Product (ETP) with the top 15 cryptocurrencies as an underlying asset class. The investment style is discretionary, with no use of leverage or derivatives. It is based on a profound knowledge of cryptocurrency markets, developed over 7 years, and, more specifically, on continuous in-depth investment research, technical and fundamental analysis.
The fund has returned -8.29% since inception, with a max drawdown of -67.14%. The management fee is 2% yearly and the performance fee is 20%. In the last year, the fund lost -57.48%. The minimum investment is 100 CHF.
Crypto Alpha Strategy ETI
The Crypto Alpha Strategy ETI follows an actively managed and diversified crypto strategy. The strategy actively selects and trades liquid crypto coins, currencies, and derivatives in the crypto market based on state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology with trades being executed fully automatically.
Since inception, the fund has returned +100.1% with a maximum drawdown of -29.7%. In the last year, the fund went down by -16.7%, which is a lot better than the underlying assets. The minimum investment in the fund is €1000 with a management fee of 0% and a performance fee of 20%.
Crypto Index Funds And Crypto ETFs* are the crypto variant of the traditional index funds and ETFs. Their main characteristics are a passive investment strategy that can be as simple as following the performance of the top 10 to 20 cryptocurrencies in the market.
*Due to the very small difference between index funds and ETFs (which are a form of index funds), we will analyze them under the same category as their performance is almost identical.
Bitcoin Strategy ETF
ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) is the first U.S. bitcoin-linked ETF offering investors an opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin returns in a convenient, liquid, and transparent way. The Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through managed exposure to bitcoin futures contracts.
Since its inception, the fund has dropped by -70.97% and is slightly worse than Bitcoin due to the 0.95% management fee that the Fund charges.
Grayscale® Digital Large Cap Fund
Grayscale offers a wide variety of cryptocurrency funds, with their Digital Large Cap Fund, in particular, being among the first securities solely invested in, and deriving value from, a basket of large-cap digital assets in the form of security while avoiding the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping those digital assets directly.
In the last year, the fund went down by -65.49%, which is kind of scary considering the 2.5% management fee for a passive investment strategy. The performance fee of the fund is 0%, and the minimum requirement is $50,000, and it is only for accredited investors. On the technical side, the Fund is registered as a mutual fund, but in terms of strategy, it is closest to an index fund.
Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund
The Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund seeks to track an Index comprised of the 10 most highly valued cryptocurrencies, screened and monitored for certain risks, weighted by market capitalization, and rebalanced monthly.
The fund has returned +159.51% since its inception in November 2017 but is down by -39.08% in the last year. The management fee is 2.5% with a 0% performance fee.
ICONOMI Blockchain Index
Blockchain Index is a passively managed Crypto Strategy investing in established blockchain-based projects with active beta components. The Crypto Strategy is market-cap weighted, with fixed BTC and ETH weight. The focus of the investment selection is on nascent projects with potential strategic importance in the future distributed economy.
The fund has shown incredible results over the long run outperforming BTC by over two times. In recent times though it is doing poorly and the drawdown in the last year is -53.29%. The management fee, which goes by the name of “copy fee” in this case is 3%, with a 0% performance fee.
Crypto Hedge Funds are the most sophisticated type of crypto fund. They are characterized as private investment entities, that accept a small number of accredited investors who meet all of the fund’s requirements. Crypto hedge funds are known for using higher-risk investing strategies with the goal of achieving higher returns for their investors. Here the higher management fee is justified if the fund performs exceptionally well.
Cyber Capital Fund A
Cyber Capital Fund A exclusively invests in cryptocurrencies with a long-term perspective, based on the premise of value investing through fundamental analysis. The fund strives to select investments based on thorough due diligence, examining token valuation, technical protocol level research, on-chain data analytics, and active engagement with management and developer teams.
The fund has shown great results since inception but has been down by -64.52% since the start of 2022. The management fee is 2% and the performance fee is 20%. The minimum requirement for an accredited investor is €100,000.
Der F5 Crypto Fonds 1
The F5 Crypto Fund 1 invests diversified in a wide range of crypto assets. The investment strategy is determined by long-standing crypto experts and is based on the research of our crypto analysts. In addition to a discretionary strategy, part of the fund volume is invested passively and index-based.
The fund has a minimum investment requirement of €200.000 and a management fee of 2%. The performance fee is 20%, which is aligned with the other actively-managed funds. The maximum drawdown is -34.72%.
Pythagoras Investments Token Fund
The Pythagoras Token Fund engages long/short strategies in crypto markets. The fund uses technical analysis that is commonly practiced by CTAs in the commodity markets. The fund relies mainly on momentum trading during bull markets and shorting strategies during bear markets.
The minimum required investment for the fund is $100,000, with a management fee of 0% and the performance fee is in the form of an incentive allocation that goes from 30% up to 50% (gross). During the analyzed timeline the fund did not shine in 2021, underperforming Bitcoin by -34.07% and the Eurekahedge Index by -116.71%.
But in 2022 the tables turned, and the fund is the only one with a positive net return (thanks to its shorting strategies). Still, the Fund is up by +23.42% since the beginning of the year, and that is not enough to compensate for the missed profits during extreme uptrends.
The most significant takeaway from this is that earning profits during a market crisis is indeed possible when you have the correct shorting strategies(*). Furthermore, it helped the Pythagoras Fund minimize losses, achieving a maximum drawdown of -11.89% since Jan 2021. The best in the report.
*One Click Crypto is on the verge of releasing its own AI model that is capable of shorting the markets. The strategy is in its last testing stages, and it will be the first of its kind. Shorting can be risky, especially with leverage, so we are dedicating additional time to ensure the bots get the best live training possible before we release the tool to our investors.
The Icoinic Algorithmic fund is optimized and monitored 24/7 by our analysts and developers. Market conditions being key, it applies various strategies to yield better results from high-risk funds. This fund is suitable for participants who dare and are able to carry a high risk.
The minimum investment amount is €100.000, which a yearly management fee of 2% and a performance fee of 20%. In the analyzed period the fund has returned +113.91%, whit a maximum drawdown of -48.90%
One Click Crypto
Assets in One Click Crypto are fully managed by the AI trading strategies developed in-house by the One Button Capital research team. This tech-driven approach allowed One Button Capital to achieve significant investment returns both in relative and absolute terms.
The 1CC Fund* has a minimum required investment of $100,000, with a yearly management fee of 1.5% and a performance fee of 15%. The Fund* performed at +189.07% since January 2021, and the max drawdown is -35.19%.
All trading and portfolio management is done purely by AI-backed models. The models are using recurrent neural networks and reinforcement learning for maximizing returns while trading cryptocurrencies. Architectures used in the models include the ones also used by major tech companies Amazon, Google, and Facebook for data processing and analytics, such as LSTM, GRU, Performer (Transformer), GMLP, Filter, and others. All the models are developed in-house by the One Click Crypto research team.
* 1CC Fund represents AI trading models running on a dedicated Binance account of One Click Crypto since January 13, 2021, with an initial balance of less than $200,000. Registrations for the BVI-registered open-ended fund are currently open.
Below is a simplified chart of One Click Crypto versus Bitcoin and the Eurekahedge Crypto Funds Index. In the last 20 months, the 1CC Fund outperformed both BTC (which is at loss for the time period) and the industry’s average, provided by Eurekagedge.
After October 2021 the markets were never the same. Bitcoin went on two consecutive down cycles since then and dropped below its 2020 close. The industry average of 14 crypto funds provided by Eurekahedge also followed the leading cryptocurrency but managed to stay at least on some profit since 2020.
One Click Crypto also got hit by the widespread crypto crisis, but despite relying on only price data information, the AI was quick enough to adapt and eventually gain an even larger edge over the two benchmarks.
But did it also outperform the other funds from the list? Let’s see.
Two crypto funds in particular were more profitable than One Click Crypto between Jan 2021 and Oct 2021. The ICONOMI Blockchain Index Fund and Icoinic Capital were trading above 220% ROI each, but they were not so swift in adapting to the 4th crypto winter. Around April 2022 all three funds met at about a similar ROI.
After that One Click Crypto gained a full lead over the whole list, having July 2022 as its most successful month to date. All three funds stayed ahead of the industry average from Eurekahedge, while all the other funds from the list drowned alongside Bitcoin, or even deeper.
Another fund that stands out is the Pythagoras Token Fund which showed steady growth in the last 20 months, and while it underperformed the majority of crypto asset managers in 2021, it really shined in the 2022 bear market and even equalized the Eurekahedge Index at the end of our analyzed period.
Below is a table of all the important stats for each of the analyzed funds/indices from our research. From the investment strategy to 2021, 2022 (until now), and 2021-Now returns on investment (ROI) and maximum drawdown (MDD).
In 2021 we had an enormous boom in crypto with almost everything going up and many new people joining the industry both as investors and developers (and other workers). Logically, every investment strategy worked great, and the funds that utilized them were very profitable. The average gain for our fund/indices for that year was +83.95%, with only two funds having negative numbers due to their late inception date that caught the start of the bear market. Bitcoin had a maximum drawdown of -40.40% and overall 13 of the funds did better in that metric.
The real test came in 2022, when crypto made a full 180 turn, sending the majority of investors and crypto funds into deep losses. Funds filed for bankruptcy and many firms started cutting out staff. In terms of performance, the asset managers we picked for the report showed mixed results. The funds that utilized passive management all underperformed Bitcoin and recorded an MDD up to -65.82%. One Click Crypto was most successful in minimizing the damage without using a shorting strategy and is currently at -3.71% since the beginning of 2022.
For the whole 20 months that were analyzed only 4 funds ended the period at a profit. The funds that utilized AI technology or algorithmic active management had an edge over the market, while the one fund that shorted the market managed to even gain in the 2022 downtrend period.
The wealth management industry is growing at a rapid rate despite the poor market conditions of the last year. Many of the first crypto funds performed exceptionally well during the golden years of Bitcoin, even if they did not manage to outperform the asset itself.
Now, that the times have changed and the whole crypto market is bleeding, many of the funds that utilize passive investment strategies like crypto index funds are doing very poorly. Their high management fees compared to traditional index funds are not justified either, with many of the funds down by nearly -70% in the last year alone.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are funds that use active management. Those are the crypto mutual funds and crypto hedge funds. They rely on more sophisticated trading methods like technical and fundamental analyses, algorithmic trading, and the utilization of AI technology. The funds from this category outperformed the passive funds over the last year 100% of the time.
Probably the most emerging trend in asset management is the usage of neural network-based trading. Some funds have already successfully implemented the technology, while others are staying behind. End-to-end asset managers that provide AI trading bots to their investors are a good indicator of how the tech is performing against traditional funds.
One Click Crypto ranked number one on the crypto asset managers list, as it outperformed both Bitcoin and the Eurekahedge Crypto Funds Index over the last 20 months, and it minimized the losses during the current bear market in order to return +189.07% in the analyzed 2021–2022 period.
The ICONOMI Blockchain Index Fund and the Icoinic Capital Funds also showed amazing results in this market, thanks to their active management technology. If it weren’t for the rough bear market in 2022, they could have been even ahead of OBC, taking their 2021 performance into consideration.
We regularly prepare insightful reports and case studies about crypto trading and the blockchain industry.
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