Hedge Funds Fall For The Memecoin Frenzy: “Mind-Boggling” Returns Tempt Financial Giants

In a recent Bloomberg report , it has come to light that the hedge fund industry is increasingly drawn to the allure of the memecoin sector, given the recent price increases and substantial profits that surpass those of Bitcoin (BTC) or the largest altcoins in the market. Memecoin Mania One example of the appeal of memecoins to traditional finance institutions is Newport Beach-based Stratos, which launched a liquid fund with the Dogwifhat token in December. The Solana-based memecoin Dogwifhat , known for its mascot – a beanie-wearing dog – became a major player in the crypto world, with its price increasing more than 300 times. This substantial spike reportedly helped Stratos achieve a staggering 137% return in the first quarter of 2024, outperforming gains in the broader crypto market. However, Dogwifhat has since retraced more than 35% from its March 31 all-time high (ATH) of $4.83 and is currently trading at $3.09. Interestingly, Stratos is not alone in venturing into memecoins; other hedge funds are also doing so. Asset manager Brevan Howard, for instance, has reportedly made a “tiny” investment in memecoins. Pantera Capital, a crypto fund, recently emphasized the staying power of memecoins and the “enormous” trading opportunities they present. Is It Just Gambling? Despite the enthusiasm from some hedge funds, the report notes that many crypto participants remain skeptical of memecoins. Quinn Thompson, the founder of Lekker Capital, a hedge fund experimenting with trading memecoins, likened the current frenzy to the speculative fervor seen in traditional markets with stocks like GameStop. In addition, Thompson described memecoins as the “tip of the spear for speculation” and emphasized the “gambling-like” nature of their trading. Still, Cosmo Jiang, a portfolio manager at Pantera Capital, noted the evolution of memecoins beyond mere jokes, calling some “culture coins” that symbolize membership in a particular group or belief system. The report notes that the ease of creating and launching memecoins has increased with the availability of apps like Pump.fun, which allow users to mint coins in minutes. Blockchains like Solana and Coinbase’s Base, which offer low trading fees , have been flooded with these tokens. In light of these developments, Josh de Vos, research lead at CCData, highlighted the improved infrastructure supporting memecoins, including increased liquidity and the development of advanced futures markets on centralized exchanges (CEX). As more hedge funds take memecoins seriously, Rennick Palley of Stratos anticipates a growing focus on these crypto assets. Drawing parallels to the initial skepticism surrounding cryptocurrencies, Palley suggests that meme-only funds may emerge, mirroring the creation of non-fungible token (NFT) funds. To further demonstrate the interest and adoption of these emerging tokens, in the first quarter of 2024, memecoins emerged as the most profitable crypto narrative, delivering massive average returns of 1312.6% across its top tokens, according to a recent study conducted by CoinGecko. Currently, the largest memecoin on the market, Dogecoin (DOGE), is trading at $0.1616, up 5% in the last seven days. It has a market cap of $23 billion. Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com