Ruffer Asset Management Firm in London Made Whopping $1.1 Billion From Bitcoin in Just 5 Months

The company sold its holdings as it wasn’t expecting youngsters to spend time on trading as lockdown restrictions were being lifted.

Ruffer Asset Management Firm in London Made Whopping $1.1 Billion From Bitcoin in Just 5 Months

Bitcoin price in India was around Rs. 23.9 lakh in the early hours of June 8.

Highlights
  • The asset management firm was one of the first to trade in Bitcoin
  • Ruffer sold its last tranche when Bitcoin was close to its all-time high
  • The firm said youngsters won't trade actively now with lockdowns easing

Ruffer, a London-based asset management firm, made a whopping $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,000 crore) profit in just five months from its investment in Bitcoin. The company invested around $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,369 crore) back in November 2020 when the digital currency was trading at around $20,000 (Rs 14.5 lakh). By December 2020 and early January 2021, Bitcoin's price had nearly doubled and the company capitalised on that. A few months later, in April, when Bitcoin touched record highs and traded at over $60,000 (roughly Rs. 43.6 lakh), the company decided to sell its coins.

The London-based company said that it decided to sell its Bitcoin investment because it wasn't expecting younger people to spend as much time on trading as the lockdown restrictions were being lifted.

“When the price doubled, we took some profits for our clients in December and early January. We actively managed the position, and by the time we sold the last tranche in April, the total profit was slightly more than $1.1 billion,” Hamish Baillie, an investment director at Ruffer, told The Sunday Times.

Ruffer was the first fund manager to invest in Bitcoins in what was a rare short-term investment. However, Baillie added that future investments in the cryptocurrency were “certainly not off the menu”. He also predicted that institutions will continue to repose faith in Bitcoin and opt for it as an alternative heaven asset for their portfolios.

Baillie was also critical of “hyperbole and misinformation” around Bitcoin's energy consumption that Tesla CEO Elon Musk — despite being a big cryptocurrency enthusiast — cited as the reason for his company to stop accepting the digital asset as a mode of payment for cars.

Over the past few weeks, Bitcoin price in India, as is true for Dogecoin price in India as well as some other popular cryptocurrencies has been going through a rough phase, especially after China banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions last month. The country also warned investors against speculative crypto trading.

The step was seen as China's latest attempt to clamp down on what was a burgeoning digital trading market. Under the ban, such institutions, including banks and online payments channels, must not offer clients any service involving cryptocurrencies, such as registration, trading, clearing, and settlement, three industry bodies said in a joint statement.

Last Thursday, Musk once again posted a cryptic tweet that many interpreted as the billionaire's break-up with the cryptocurrency, which had a direct impact on the Bitcoin price. The tweet included the Bitcoin logo and a broken-heart emoji, and it was followed by a nearly 9 percent dip in the price of the digital currency. On June 8, at the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at Rs. 23.9 lakh. The rest of the cryptocurrency market also seems to be going through another dip.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Cryptocurrency Prices across Indian exchanges

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