Why Brevan Howard’s crypto boss plans to tap AI and blockchain opportunities

Why Brevan Howard’s crypto boss plans to tap AI and blockchain opportunities
Fintech/VC/deals
Brevan Howard Digital CEO and CIO Gautam Sharma sees potential for virtual assistants on blockchains. Credit: Andrés Tapia
  • Brevan Howard is experimenting at the intersection of AI and blockchain.
  • AI tokens have surged to a $20.4 billion total market value in 2024.

Hedge fund manager Brevan Howard is seeking out investment opportunities in artificial intelligence and sees potential for virtual assistants on the blockchain.

“The big thing that everyone’s talking about is how you can potentially leverage blockchain to unlock more opportunities,” said Gautam Sharma, CEO and chief investment officer at Brevan Howard Digital, the $35 billion hedge fund’s crypto division.

The statement is a sign of the growing buzz around the intersection of AI and blockchain technologies that has encouraged investors to inject over $85 million into projects in the sector since the beginning of 2024 and that has driven a surge in AI tokens to a total market value of $20.4 billion.

The next stage of AI

Sharma, speaking at a digital-assets conference in London this week, outlined a scenario where AI assistants and AI agents can facilitate interactions when it comes to payments and manual processes at work or in personal life.

“For AI to move to the next stage, you need blockchain in the background, especially as it relates to things like payments and interactions that need to happen in real time,” he said at the Digital Assets Forum in London this week.

“You don’t need bank accounts for agents,” he said. Instead, they could be connected to wallets on a blockchain.

“That’s a really interesting use case.”

Brevan Howard’s digital-assets fund invests in cryptocurrencies and also venture capital opportunities in the crypto industry.

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The hedge fund’s VC arm last week led a $100 million series B funding round in Berachain, a DeFi-focused layer 1 blockchain.

The BH Digital Multi-Strategy Fund generated a whopping 44% return last year, Bloomberg reported, citing an insider at the company.

“You need AI models that count on data,” Sharma added. “And, yes, there is this big use case around your own data set that is not exposed to anyone else. But there’s also going to be many use cases that leverage open-source data.

”So we are exploring some of those use cases and enrichment opportunities.”

Reach out to the authors at trista@dlnews.com or joanna@dlnews.com.