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By Nell Mackenzie

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds trading cryptocurrencies tracked by index provider BarclayHedge ended 2022 down nearly 50%, the research firm said on Tuesday, a sign that the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange continues to impact the industry.

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States in November following its spectacular collapse that sent shivers through the industry.

Ben Crawford, head of research at BarclayHedge, says since FTX collapsed, the conversation around cryptocurrency trading has become polarized and “true believers” in crypto are “pushing their evangelism to 11” .

“The most skeptical voices turned to openly asking if ‘Crypto Winter’ isn’t a season at all, but a state closer to a nuclear winter,” Crawford said.

An index of 47 hedge funds, whose names are kept anonymous by BarclayHedge, posted a loss of more than 47% for the year, the data showed.

But the 2022 result was not the worst performance the index has seen in the past five years. The cryptocurrency traders’ index ended 2018 down more than 60%, said BarclayHedge, part of Backstop Solutions.

However, the 5-year average performance of the index if an investor was able to hold their position would have been over 46%, according to data from BarclayHedge.

(Reporting by Nell Mackenzie; Editing by Yoruk Bahceli, William Maclean)

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