Business

Cryptocurrency hedge fund manager for Destination Experience

BY DENNISE WILLIAMS
Contributor

Sunday, April 15, 2018

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Jamaican attendees of the upcoming Destination Experience Visionaries Summit will get to interact and listen to superstar hedge fund manger John Burbank.

Having made a 220 per cent return on investment in betting that the subprime market would fall in the United States during the 2008 recession, Burbank, head of Passport Capital, is now focused on cryptocurrencies and block chain technology related investments.

Burbank founded Passport in 2000 with less than US$1 million and shot to fame based on his lucrative bet against subprime mortgages in 2006 ahead of the global financial crisis.

His fund made 220 per cent the following year, as global markets were in their slow drift towards collapse. Passport Capital's assets hit a peak of about US$5 billion before a globally challenging period for hedge funds in 2017.

As the Wall Stret Journal describes him, “He made his name buying up credit default swaps ahead of the financial crisis, resulting in a more-than 200 per cent gain for his main fund in 2007. That year, he made US$370 million personally, Forbes estimated.”

They have now shifted their primary focus to cryptocurrencies while also operating their Special Opportunities Fund.

Having set up a dedicated cryptocurrency fund and launching a crypto fund of funds, Burbank remains very bullish on cryptocurrencies in the future, and has taken a substantial position in Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) and counterpart tZero, which raised US$100 million in presale for its US$250 million ICO this year.

Overstock has vociferously embraced cryptocurrency in recent times and is run by Dr Patrick Byrne, its founder and chairman. Byrne attended The Destination Experience Visionaries' Summit in 2017 and predicted a boom in cryptocurrencies that ensued that year in his presentation. Those who bought into his vision made tremendous returns.

Much like Byrne, Burbank has become a strong advocate of the potential embedded within crypto-assets and anticipates that Bbockchain technology is going to drive rapid change in every macro sector in the world. As Jamaica's investment community considers cryptocurrencies, Burbank's wealth of experience in macroeconomic analysis and quantitative tools, as well as his experiences in exploring crypto-assets, could offer value.

The Visionaries' Summit is set for May 17-19 in Kingston.

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