August 21, 2018 | DALLAS (SMU) – As the first company to be based in the new SMU Incubator, Hamiz Awan and Richard Raizes, and their team of grads and undergrads, form Plutus21, a hedge fund invested in alternative assets and on a quest to become the “most reputable fund in Dallas”. With the goal to invest $100 million in cryptocurrencies, Plutus21 is seeking $5 million to $10 million in initial capital. Cryptocurrencies, invented as the first use of blockchain technology, are a digital currency that can be sent and received directly from person to person through a decentralized system and without a middle man. This team of “crypto kids” are pitching to Dallas’ traditional money that cryptocurrency is “this generation’s internet boom,” and not just a fad. According to Yahoo Finance, the value of just one bitcoin peaked just above $20,000 in December of 2017. Even though the price has fallen to $7,800, it did not deter the explosion of hedge funds focusing and investing in digital currencies and waiting for the next big wave.
Plutus21 is currently dedicating 21 percent of their portfolio to buying digital currencies such as Digital Cash, otherwise known as DASH, and investing in Ethereum developers. This company is unique as they are interested in young digital currency exchanges, such as Binance Coin, where trade is facilitated between speculators and there is proven track record of performance. They achieve this by purchasing tokens issued from the exchange as a kind of stock holding, but unlike stocks, the tokens are immediately liquid and can be bought and sold at any time. But with great and new technology comes great obstacles. Although the managers of large funds are restricted on the type of speculations they are asked to make by funds such as Plutus21, this doesn’t stop the team from finding investors, such as alumni, family members, and other fund managers who are interested in investing personally.
Many industry leaders are worried about a bubble, believing that cryptocurrencies are just a fad and have niche applications. Others, such as Plutus21, are optimistic about the digital currencies and believe they will be “a major asset class in 2018.” As Awan says, what they’re really doing is “democratizing the way businesses are really funded.”
Read more about Plutus21 in the Dallas Business Journal.