Formerly known as Ethereum Capital, the investment fund’s shares went live on the NEO Exchange in Toronto Thursday. The company plans to invest the funds it raises both into startups developing projects in the space as well make direct purchases of ether – the cryptocurrency of the ethereum network – as previously reported.
Co-CIO Ben Roberts said that the company raised $45 million Canadian (out of a planned $50 million), which will be mostly be converted into ether over the next four weeks. Ultimately, some 90 percent of the raised funds will be converted into the cryptocurrency, though Roberts declined to say how much the company had already converted
“I think it’s going to take the market some time to really understand the value proposition here,” he said, explaining:
“The utility of that is two-fold, yes it gives people exposure in the marketplace and more importantly creating that pool of assets gives us space in the community and the ethereum platform. As we kind of scale that out we can have an opportunity to become something like ConsenSys, which is a large organized stakeholder in ethereum which can then use its platform to create value.”
Setting up the investment fund took more than a year from concept to launch, but the process itself was straightforward, he said, explaining that “the first step was talking to the Ontario Securities Commission and getting their blessing, then talking to banks and getting them comfortable and setting up a custody solution to house the asset safely.”
Over the next year or two, the company plans to look at different projects it can support while “simultaneously creating enterprise value,” he said.
“Ethereum is a project that began in Canada, [but] it’s really being developed in most major cities in the world and this is a way to bring it back to Toronto and really bridge the gap between the technical community and the finance community,” Roberts added.