Quality Wall Street talent is beginning to flock to the rapidly growing, and arguably more exciting, cryptocurrency industry. The latest example comes in the form of two Goldman Sachs employees who have jumped ship to join an upstart crypto hedge fund, BlockTower Capital. Founded in April 2017 by Ari Paul and Matthew Goetz, former members of Goldman Sach’s asset management division, BlockTower pegs itself as a leading cryptocurrency investment firm, bringing professional trading and portfolio management to an emerging digital asset class.
Since launching a year ago, BlockTower has been a magnet of top talent, poaching a number of ranking wall street bankers, investors and more. In the last three months, two former Goldman Sachs employees have joined BlockTower Capital. Steve Lee, a former portfolio manager and trader at Goldman Sachs’ Asia Division, left to join the asset management unit while Elizabeth Ralston, formerly a VP at Goldman Sachs, joined as the firms legal and complicate director.
BlockTower raised $140 million at the start of 2018 from several notable investment institutions like Union Square Ventures LLC and Andreessen Horowitz.
Crypto is stealing from the talent pools of Wall Street institutions, large tech companies, and top tier founders.
The industry has too much money, too much excitement, & too strong of a belief in freedom — the incumbents don't stand a chance in retaining their talent.
— Pomp ? (@APompliano) February 14, 2018
The number of crypto hedge funds has proliferated over the last year to a staggering 226 in February 2018, up from only 37 at the start of 2017. This trend further mirrors the move of institutional money flying into the young industry, including a fund tied to famous billionaire investor George Soros. Additionally, last Wednesday, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC’s Squawk Box that she is open to building a Nasdaq cryptocurrency exchange.