Financier with Links to Russian Oligarch Launches Crypto Derivative Hedge Fund


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According to a BloombergQuint report published April 17, 2019, Gerald Banks, a financier who has in past managed part of a Russian oligarch’s business venture is set to open a cryptocurrency derivative fund.

Financier Launches Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Cipher Technologies

Russian business tycoons are notoriously famous for their appetite for risk to venture into the unknown.

BTCManager reported on March 28, 2019, how Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin is determined to launch palladium-backed crypto tokens. This, coupled with the fact that Russia is mulling developing an exhaustive cryptocurrency regulatory infrastructure by July 1, 2019, has made Moscow one of the global hotspots to start a crypto venture.

Now, a report suggests that Gerald Banks, a former derivatives analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. has set his sight towards the cryptocurrency industry. Banks, formerly known as Guerman Aliev, is the Chief Investment officer of a Connecticut-based bitcoin hedge fund named Cipher Technologies Management LLP.

The hedge fund is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC.) Banks told BloombergQuint in an interview that the hedge fund primarily trades cryptocurrency options and futures contracts.

Institutional Money About to Flow In, Says Banks

Banks firmly believes that a huge inflow of institutional money is bound to happen in the crypto industry once regulatory bodies establish clear guidelines and regulations with regard to digital assets.

In fact, a number of corporate behemoths such as Citi, Blackrock, and JP Morgan are already exploring the nascent digital assets space. However, they are reluctant to go all-in due to the lack of clear regulations coupled with the risk of money laundering and market manipulation.

Banks said that the crypto market is “ready for institutional prime time.”

He added:

Regulators in the U.S. have a fairly deep understanding of the market and the issues, and at some point in the not-too-distant future, they’ll address the relevant issues allowing big institutions to make legally sound investments, which will significantly increase the market size and possibly prices too.’’

Banks hinted that Cipher Technologies is currently in discussion with various prospective institutional investors, including endowment funds, foundation funds, and pension funds. He, however, declined to give more information on these entities. According to sources close to the matter, Cipher Technologies is looking to raise some $250 million of assets under management by the end of 2019.

Banks’ Interesting Past

Perhaps the most interesting trivia related to Banks is his close business association with Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. Banks has previously held a senior role at Potanin’s Interros Holdings Co. Interestingly enough, Potanin is also an investor in Altpoint Capital Partners, a financial firm set up by Banks in 2009.

Banks cleared the air by saying that Cipher Technologies, his digital assets business venture, is a separate entity to Altpoint Capital with its own registrations with regulators.

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