In conclusion of the inaugural Bitcoin Alpha Competition, Samara Alpha Management and Bitcoin Magazine Pro selected Animus Technologies, a Los Angeles-based digital assets fund, as the victor in what was a “breakthrough moment” for the fund manager. As winner of the competition, Animus was awarded $1 million in seed capital and access to Samara Alpha’s institutional-grade infrastructure for managing their fund. Animus and their CEO Maxmilian Pace were recognized on-stage at the Bitcoin Amsterdam conference for their AI-based model for capturing alpha in the Bitcoin market and were hand-selected for their innovative approach amongst 150 other talented applicants.
Animus, which began six years ago at the University of Southern California, was the result of three close friends with a passion for Bitcoin and artificial intelligence who saw an opportunity in a nascent market using a toolset that was being underleveraged in the form of artificial intelligence. Their flagship model employs a long-only strategy that integrates real-time market sentiment data processed via AI to capture excess returns in the Bitcoin market.
Animus’s CEO Pace expressed that winning the Bitcoin Alpha Competition was “massive” for their operations, both in terms of the $1 million prize, but also due to Samara Alpha’s institutional-grade infrastructure and industry reputation:
“When running a fund, you need admin, tax and audit help, formation, so many things; being able to streamline that, from a cost-perspective, is amazing. It’s not exactly easy to pick the right service provider for those things, and that’s an additional barrier for emerging fund managers breaking into the space. Now, we can focus on what we’re best at, which is signal formation and creating value through research.”
In a request for comment, Samara Alpha Management’s Chief Risk Officer Roy Tse noted:
“Our partnership with Bitcoin Magazine on the Alpha manager search has been a tremendous success and we were impressed and pleasantly surprised by the number of innovative strategies we have seen. We are excited to provide $1mm in seed capital to the winners, Animus Technologies, and look forward to nurturing and helping their business grow.”
When asked why Animus uses Bitcoin as a vehicle for generating returns rather than traditional assets, Pace opined that Bitcoin is “inherently speculative; it is inherently a psychology problem. The fact that narratives are impactful for individual trading behaviors means that those narratives then have a strong effect on the price and the story that underlies this asset. We’ve seen that this week with the [false] ETF news coming out. An ETF didn’t come out, it was just news about the ETF that moved the market sharply.” Ostensibly, their AI models for teasing apart that sentiment allows them to capitalize on these emotional bouts of volatility.
Pace also offered insight on the current state of the Bitcoin market as it traded around $34,000 after the recent run-up in price:
“For the first time in a long time we are seeing greed become prevalent in the market, something we haven’t seen for the last 18 months at any point. If you look at the past 2 years, it’s been extremely bearish. I think the recent uptick in sentiment bodes extremely well going into the halving and everything that’s going to be built off the heels of the innovation we’ve seen in the bear market. There’s so much building that goes on during that then comes to light when the market turns around. Here’s what I’ll say: don’t be scared that we are up 50%. Zoom out. The reality is, it’s about time in the market when you’re dealing with an exponentially growing technology.”
As the Bitcoin industry seems to be awakening from the slumber of a grueling bear market, the innovators, die-hards and battle-hardened HODLers are excited to show off what they’ve accomplished in the meantime. Bitcoin Amsterdam was an opportunity for companies like Animus and Samara Alpha Management to connect and form relationships that will pay dividends long into the future.
Watch the Bitcoin Alpha award ceremony at Bitcoin Amsterdam by clicking here.