By Nell Mackenzie
LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge funds trading crypto currencies tracked by index provider BarclayHedge ended 2022 down almost 50%, the research firm said on Tuesday, a sign that the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to ripple through the industry.
FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States in November following its spectacular collapse that sent shivers through the industry.
Ben Crawford, head of research at BarclayHedge, said since FTX fell to pieces, the conversation around trading crypto currencies had become polarised and that "true believers" in crypto were "cranking up their evangelizing to 11."
"The more skeptical voices have turned to openly wondering if the 'Crypto Winter' isn’t a season at all, but a state more akin to a nuclear winter," said Crawford.
An index of 47 hedge funds, the names of which BarclayHedge keeps anonymous, posted a loss of over 47% for the year, the data said.
But the 2022 result was not the worst performance the index has seen in the last five years. The Cryptocurrency Traders Index ended 2018 down over 60%, said BarclayHedge, which is part of the company Backstop Solutions.
However, the average 5-year performance of the index if an investor was able to hold to their position would have been over 46%, BarclayHedge data said.
(Reporting by Nell Mackenzie; Editing Yoruk Bahceli, William Maclean)