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TRON founder Justin Sun had a sizable investment of $580 million with crypto manager Valkyrie back in August.
According to recent reports, TRON founder Justin Sun secretly owned most of the digital assets custodied by a key Valkyrie division. The report further stated that Sun had more than $580 million in Bitcoin (BTC) stashed with Valkyrie Investments at one point in August. This sum constituted more than 90% of funds at the crypto asset manager’s largest division, Valkyrie Digital Assets LLC. Furthermore, a reviewed private financial document also declared Sun as Valkyrie’s secret top client at the time. In addition, the Chinese crypto entrepreneur revealed that he was one of Valkyrie’s most prominent shareholders in October last year.
The fact that Justin Sun owned an overwhelming majority of Valkyrie digital assets under management speaks volumes to the core structure of crypto. It suggests that despite its decentralized ideals, the crypto industry remains rooted in centralized practices. Crypto whales like Sun ultimately wield outsized clout due to the immense size of their digital asset investments.
The Sun-Valkyrie development, viewed from another perspective, implies that the digital asset manager relied heavily on the controversial crypto billionaire. Furthermore, this reliance came amid strenuous efforts by Valkyrie to pitch crypto products to Wall Street investors continually.
Justin Sun-Valkyrie Relationship
Sun’s relationship with Valkyrie Investments benefitted his crypto empire in dynamic ways. For instance, the crypto asset manager built investment products for his tokens, including TRON’s TRX and BitTorrent BTT. Meanwhile, other crypto managers have been vocal in avoiding said digital assets.
Valkyrie also promoted TRON by utilizing the protocol’s developers’ marketing resources and sharing its Wall Street spotlight with the open-source blockchain. In September, an individual wearing a T-shirt sporting TRON’s logo joined the crypto manager’s Nasdaq bell-ringing rites.
The alleged symbiotic Sun-Valkyrie relationship also spurred the digital asset manager to accelerated growth. The TRON founder’s funds positively impacted every section of Valkyrie’s business, including trusts and separately managed accounts. In addition, Sun’s investment also propped up the company’s Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF). The reason for this is that bigger is usually always better. Extensive assets under management (AUM) could aid a fund manager in better projecting and promoting itself to potential clients and financial backers.
Other Notable Valkyrie AUM in 2022
Besides Sun, Valkyrie onboarded another crypto whale for a few months this year. In January, the digital asset manager signed a $700 million deal to manage crypto protocol NEM/Symbol’s treasury funds. Weeks later, Valkyrie revealed that its AUM had surpassed $1 billion in a February press release. At the time, the company’s chief executive officer Leah Wald noted:
“The past year has seen soaring demand for exposure to digital assets from a wide variety of investors and market participants. From individuals seeking ETFs to family offices, pensions, and endowments eagerly allocating to hedge funds and trusts, our industry has a firm footing on which to continue growing through the remainder of this year and beyond.”
However, the Valkyrie deal with NEM/symbol fell apart months later, and the crypto protocol took back its tokens. Nonetheless, Valkyrie Investments chief investment officer Steve McClurg said that the company continues to partner with NEM/Symbol.