Rahul Rai: Czar of crypto world

The year 2022 was a tough one for the Web3 and crypto ecosystem. Yet, Rahul Rai's Market Neutral crypto hedge fund at BlockTower Capital was one of the best performers

Naandika Tripathi
Published: Feb 21, 2023 10:58:19 AM IST
Updated: Feb 21, 2023 11:43:50 AM IST

Rahul Rai: Czar of crypto world Rahul Rai Image: Selvaprakash Lakshmanan for Forbes India; Hair and makeup: Glow up diaries; outfit: H.O.T.S MAN; Stylist: Vaybhav Acharya

Rahul Rai | 25
Co-head of Market Neutral, BlockTower Capital

After dropping out of IIT-Bombay in 2015, Rahul Rai joined The Wharton School in the US the same year. And once he graduated in 2019 with a BSc in economics, Rai worked with Morgan Stanley in the US for over a year as a forex trader. He quit in 2020 and moved to India to build his own company. The crypto ecosystem was booming during this period. The concept of decentralised finance (DeFi) fascinated Rai, who started doing more research along with another crypto enthusiast.

“We realised the opportunity of building a crypto hedge fund. The goal was to leverage all of my learnings from Wall Street and Morgan Stanley in the traditional finance world, and bring those over to the crypto world,” says Rai. Along with Eash Aggarwal and Sanat Rao, Rai founded Gamma Point Capital, a hedge fund investing in digital assets and blockchain technology, in January 2021.

Gamma Point Capital become a trusted choice for investors looking for superior risk-adjusted returns. Combining their experience in cryptocurrency, traditional financial services, trading and risk management, venture capital, and technology development, the team has a strategy of market-neutral investing that seeks profit in both bull and bear markets. Miami-based crypto hedge fund BlockTower Capital acquired competitor Gamma Point Capital for $35 million in June 2021. “It was a tough decision, but a sensible one because it would’ve taken us many years to reach where we already are today,” says Rai.

Rai is currently co-head of Market Neutral at BlockTower Capital, where he manages a $150 million crypto hedge fund. He claims that it was one of the best-performing crypto hedge funds in 2022, despite the broader market drawdown.

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The year 2022 was a tough one for the Web3 and crypto ecosystem because a lot of companies went bankrupt, and exchanges blew up. Funds are down and the market cap has reduced significantly. There is regulatory pressure in the US and in India as well, explains Rai. “In 2022, we were able to protect our investor capital because we were thoughtful of some of these risks. We were more risk-averse because we knew that it was a tougher environment,” he adds.

View the full list of Forbes India 30 Under 30 2023 here

Rai has also invested in Indian Web3 startups and works closely with venture capital firms to invest in and mentor early-stage Web3 startups.

Rahul Rai: Czar of crypto world

“It has been amazing associating and partnering with Rahul over the last two years across multiple companies. He is a great sounding board to all his portfolio companies and continues to back founders even in tough phases,” says Giridhar Malpani, founder of Climber Capital.

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(This story appears in the 10 February, 2023 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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