- 24-year old Rahul Rai became a millionaire in May after BlockTower Capital acquired the fund he’d co-founded.
- Rai now runs the BlockTower Gamma Point Market Neutral Fund.
- He believes avalanche is the ethereum network’s closest rival and will “steal liquidity” from the bigger blockchain.
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
As cryptocurrencies become increasingly mainstream and more blockchain-based applications are springing up every day, competition is heating up between the different networks to host as much of that activity as possible.
The ethereum network is the busiest by a long way, but 24-year old Rahul Rai, who became a millionaire when he sold a crypto fund he helped found, believes the avalanche blockchain has the most potential to take that number one spot.
Rai grew up in India, worked as an analyst for Morgan Stanley in 2019 and founded crypto hedge fund Gamma Point Capital in 2021 together with Eash Aggarwal and Sanat Rao.
BlockTower Capital, which has the backing of billionaire Marc Lasry among others, acquired his company for $35 million in May this year based on the firm’s strategy, tech-stack and variety of funds on offer. He is now the co-head of Market Neutral at BlockTower Capital who runs the BlockTower Gamma Point Market Neutral Fund.
Right now he likes avalanche – a layer one protocol that can host smart contracts, much like ethereum. The network’s native avax token is one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies this year, with a gain of 2,000%, compared with a rise of about 50% in bitcoin, the most widely traded coin, or a 320% increase in ether.
“Avalanche has a really good shot of – taking away a lot of liquidity and trading from ethereum,” Rai told Insider in an interview.
“These ecosystems have really attracted this huge community of (developers) and now more importantly traders and users,” Rai said.
Avalanche allows users to create custom blockchains and decentralized, peer-to-peer applications.
Rai said another incentive was the liquidity-mining tools that avalanche runs that reward early adopters with a governance token or the blockchain’s native coin. In August, avalanche allocated a $15 million liquidity mining incentive that will run for three months.
“That just makes it highly compelling for early users to adopt the protocol and adopt the chain,” he said.
He recommended owning avax in the short term partly because of the yield-farming opportunities the underlying network offers.
Yield farmers lock up their tokens in exchange for fees. They can then profit from each transaction but they take on price risk if those locked-up tokens soar or crash in value.
Rai believes the wealth he’s accumulated so far shows the magnitude and strength of the growth in the cryptocurrency world.
“My success so far is a validation of crypto’s potential, and I think that being in a hyper growth industry makes it much easier to build and scale rapidly,” he said.
“I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful. I definitely did not expect to be a millionaire by my age,” he added.
“When you have the right team, you can really create these “1+1+1 = 10″ situations that lead to rapid growth and innovation,” he said.
This story was updated to correct Rahul Rai’s title and the date Gamma Point Capital was founded.