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Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/105644709@N08/

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/105644709@N08/

Last week, bitcoin-investment group Pantera Capital quietly filed a “Form D” notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Under the notice, a privately held company does hot have to register investment funds raised through certain kinds of activity, such as venture capital or angel investments. A Form D notice is a fairly common filing strategy for hedge funds, for instance, allowing a small company to avoid the substantial costs of a standard SEC filing as long as certain conditions are met. The Pantera Bitcoin Fund SEC notice reveals some interesting details about a form of bitcoin investment likely to become a major factor as the securities side of the cryptocurrency industry grows.

According to the notice, the Pantera Bitcoin Fund has received over $96 million in investments since 2013. Incorporated in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands, the notice clearly defines the Pantera venture as a standard hedge fund claiming SEC exemption under Rule 506(b). This status allows Pantera to market shares to an unlimited number of “accredited investors,” although these shares may not be freely traded on an exchange or made available to the general public. The notice indicates that the Pantera fund has 45 total investors, although their identities and levels of investment are still unknown.

The SEC notice appears to confirm the long-held suspicion that a growing number of high-level investors have been moving into the bitcoin space in the last year. With an average stake of around $2.1 million per investor, the Pantera Bitcoin Fund represents a massive move into the cryptocurrency market by a relatively small, but significantly wealthy group. (By comparison, the Pantera fund roughly matches the amount of disclosed venture capital investment in bitcoin companies in 2013.) It’s not known when the bulk of the investments were made, but it’s at least plausible that bitcoin’s recent and largely mysterious price rise might have some correlation with the looming SEC reporting deadline.

The Pantera notice may offer a preview of things to come for bitcoin as more mainstream securities, such as the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, come online later this year.

Hat tip to reporter Brian Cohen, who revealed the Pantera filing.

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