The list of victims of the cryptocurrency market crash that has swallowed up $2 trillion since November continues to grow.
Another well-known name has just been added: This is Anthony Scaramucci, the very brief director of communications at the White House under the presidency of Donald Trump. Scaramucci remained at that post for 11 days.
After leaving the White House, Scaramucci returned to asset and money management, with his firm Skybridge Capital. He then began a push towards digital assets becoming a cryptocurrency evangelist. Skybridge Capital, for example, is part of the Political Action Committee (PAC) formed in February by crypto industry players to weigh in during the midterm elections.
Called GMI PAC, the group aims financial support to candidates who are favorable or open to cryptocurrencies and the technologies on which they are based, according to its website. GMI comes from crypto slang ‘gonna make it’.
‘Suspend’ Withdrawals ‘Until We can Raise Capital’
Skybridge Capital’s bet in cryptocurrencies is affected by falling coin prices. The Legion Strategies Fund, one of the firm’s funds, has just suspended redemptions, Bloomberg News reported. In other words, investors cannot demand repayment of their assets. Basically, it is not possible for investors to withdraw their money from the fund at this time.
“Alongside an independent board, SkyBridge temporarily suspended redemptions in its offshore fund, Legion Strategies, on Monday, July 18,” a source close to the matter confirmed to TheStreet.
The suspension is driven largely by a liquidity mismatch resulting from late-stage private investments in the fund, the person said. SkyBridge funds do not have leverage and there is zero risk of any asset liquidation, the person added. The suspension will be in place until SkyBridge can ensure the fund is not forced to exit positions to the detriment of investors who want to stay in.
“The decision was made to suspend the redemption, of course those are temporary suspensions,” Scaramucci said in a phone interview with CNBC. “Our board made the decision to temporarily suspend until we can raise capital inside the fund and then make sure that when people get out, they get out orderly and we keep the funds portfolio composition, more or less in sync. So not to damage investors frankly want to stay in.”
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He added “This is the first time that we’ve ever had a suspension. And so obviously, none of us at Skybridge necessarily wanted this suspended but we have to take into account a balance of different factors,” Scaramucci added.
The Legion Strategies fund was created in 1994. It’s an offshore fund, based Cayman Islands. It has about $250 million, Scaramucci said. The fund has an exposure of 18% to cryptocurrencies. Some of that is in coins like bitcoin, ethereum and algorand, according to a regulatory filing. This exposure was made through other funds managed by Skybridge, including Bitcoin Fund, Ethereum Fund, SkyBridge Algorand Fund focused on the cryptocurrencies whose names they bear .
Bitcoin prices are down 68% from their all-time high set on November 10. Prices of ether, the second-largest digital currency by market value, are down 68.5% from their November all-time high as well.
‘No Fear of Any Liquidation’
The Legion Strategies fund has also invested in crypto firms such as the exchange FTX.com, founded by the young crypto billionaire Sam-Bankman-Fried, who has become the savior of the sector since the start of the crypto winter.
“As of February 28, 2022, approximately 24% of Legion Strategies’ net asset value was represented by investments in Affiliated Funds. This number may increase in the future, and the increase could be significant,” the fund said in the filing.
“The fund is unlevered, so there’s absolutely no fear of any liquidation whatsoever,” Scaramucci said. He admitted, however, that some investors were unhappy.
“Everybody’s a long term investor, so they have short term losses. And so what ends up happening is they start to change their investment idea when they start seeing near term negative performance, and so some investors are upset,” he said during the interview.
“As things start to get better, we’ll release that suspension,” he promised. “The last point I’d like to make is that of course everybody signed into an investor agreement. This type of flexibility. So I don’t think there’s any surprises here given what’s going on in the overall market.”
Besides Scaramucci’s firm, the crypto market crash is also expected to affect companies like Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report, MicroStrategy (MSTR) – Get MicroStrategy Incorporated Report, Galaxy Digital Holdings (BRPHF) and Block (SQ) – Get Block Inc. Class A Report, which hold cryptocurrencies on their balance sheets. These companies are expected to announce impairment charges in the coming weeks.