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After bitcoin craters, investor Mike Novogratz delays plan for $500 million cryptocurrency hedge fund

  • Michael Novogratz, head of Galaxy Investment Partners, says he has not launched his "cryptofund" on Dec. 15 as planned due to "market conditions."
  • Bitcoin hit a record high above $19,800 Sunday but had plunged 47 percent from that level to a low of $10,400 on Coinbase on Friday in a volatile trading session.
  • The former Fortress macro hedge-fund manager said on CNBC's "Fast Money" on Dec. 12 that he was going to launch his fund at the end of last week.

Michael Novogratz, head of Galaxy Investment Partners, has delayed plans to launch what would have been the largest digital currency fund so far.

"We were supposed to launch on Dec. 15, and we paused," Novogratz told CNBC. "I didn't like the market conditions as a starting point to take other investors' money."

"We are still feverishly building out a full merchant bank for crypto, i.e., I am still very bullish on the space," he said.

Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners.

Bitcoin hit a record high above $19,800 Sunday but had plunged 47 percent from that level to a low of $10,400 on Coinbase Friday in a volatile trading session.

The former Fortress macro hedge-fund manager said on CNBC's "Fast Money" on Dec. 12 that he was going to launch his fund at the end of last week. The fund was reportedly going to be $500 million, the largest in the nascent industry.

However, Novogratz told CNBC Wednesday that he hadn't launched his fund yet since they had "made lots of money" recently on crypto and that they were re-evaluating the situation.

As bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have surged in price and popularity, more than 120 "cryptofunds" have launched this year for a total of at least 175 such funds, according to financial research firm Autonomous Next.

— CNBC's Seema Mody contributed to this report.