Hedge funds managing a collective $1bn in crypto outperformed the overall token market last year, seeing their holdings decline 46% while Bitcoin plummeted 72%.
Meanwhile, the median assets under management (AuM) of crypto hedge funds, a figure which discounts the impact of several large funds, soared from $1.2m in January 2018 to $4.3m in Q1 2019.
While more bullish reports have claimed there are over 350 crypto hedge funds managing billions in tokens, PwC and Elwood's findings place a far more conservative figure of 150 hedge funds with $1bn in AuM.
“The crypto hedge fund industry today is probably where the traditional hedge fund industry was in the early 1990s,” said Henri Arslanian, PwC’s Global Crypto Leader.
“We expect the industry to go through a rapid period of institutionalisation and implementation of sound practices over the coming years.”
The PwC/Elwood report also found that most (60%) of the crypto hedge funds operating today still hold assets of less than $10m, while just 10% manage over $50m.
“This broader interest from investors and regulators is undoubtedly a positive step towards digital assets being recognised as an asset class with true viability and longevity.”