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  • Writer's pictureMichael Schwartz

In the Arena | January 1, 2024



Arena Digital Capital Management was founded in January 2022 by three experienced traditional finance hedge fund professionals who have been deploying personal capital in the digital asset ecosystem since 2018. The team has managed billions of dollars of capital for high net worth individuals, family offices, and institutions ranging from pension plans and endowments to sovereign wealth funds. We have worked closely with institutional consultants, RIAs, and other advisors in serving their clients.


In May 2022 we launched Arena Digital Capital Partners, with the goal of providing a multi-strategy investment vehicle to access the digital asset ecosystem. Our mandate is to offer broad exposure across the growing digital asset and blockchain sector with an appropriate level of diversification, professional oversight, and manager selection. Our collection of skill sets and our history in the business allows us to understand, assess, and engage with the practitioners of this nascent asset class with a level of diligence required to be responsible stewards of capital. We are happy to periodically share our observations with you.

 

BTC leads us out of the bear market then altcoins outperform – historical observation and suggestion that now is the time…

Bitcoin is up an impressive ~165% year-to-date (as of December 21, 2023). BTC has historically led digital assets out of bear markets. The current early-stage cyclical run in BTC is further buoyed by anticipation around the approval of a BTC ETF (positive demand shock), the early spring “halvening” of BTC mining rewards (positive supply shock) and macroeconomic factors buttressing the store of value use case. However, there are a number of blockchain-based projects and related small-cap digital assets focused on a diverse range of use cases, including decentralized finance and tokenized real world assets, social networking and gaming, that tend to garner attention as the cycle matures. In previous cycles, altcoins

began to outperform BTC just five months into the cycle and then massively outperform BTC (see Chart of the Month below). We believe that after this consolidation phase around BTC, the altcoin market is poised for tremendous growth around digital asset infrastructure and use case protocols and could present an attractive investment opportunity over the next 18-24 months.


SocGen issues bonds on Ethereum – successful tokenization of real world assets

Tokenization of real world assets means placing interests in assets like stocks, bonds or real estate on a blockchain in the form of a liquid token. Each token can represent a fraction or the entirety of the asset, allowing for seamless transfer, trading, and fractional ownership on blockchain rails. In early December, French banking giant Societe Generale issued €10 million of digital green bond tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. The digital format of the issued bonds provides for faster transactions and settlement as well as enhanced transparency and traceability, particularly as it relates to tracking ESG investing. The issuance highlights the growing use of blockchain technology in traditional financial circles; ultimately blockchain-based finance and traditional finance will simply meld into the next generation of finance.


Coinbase improves Wallet App – enhanced ease of use can boost adoption

Coinbase recently enhanced its mobile wallet application to allow users to send digital assets globally for free using commonly available messaging applications, including iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram, social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, and simple email. Instead of dealing with the complexity of routing numbers, bank account numbers, expensive wire transfers, bank fees, and waiting up to 5 business days for the money to become available, users are now able to safely use the most commonly accessible identifiers – phone numbers or email addresses – to send and receive

money via their favorite messaging and social apps with no fees and instant settlement. We believe that as Coinbase and others reduce the complexity of using digital assets and expand global access, millions of people will engage with and grow the crypto economy and blockchain will evolve into the base layer underpinning global commerce.


Chart of the Month



Arena Digital Capital Partners is a liquid evergreen fund open to monthly subscriptions. We are always happy to discuss further with you or investors you think may have an interest in the sector. Please reach out to Bill Cline at williamc@arenadigital.capital.


Sincerely,


The Arena Digital Capital Management Team

Michael Schwartz, Michael Prober & William Cline

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