Established in 2017, cryptocurrency hedge funds are now increasingly running into difficulties, with new capital drying up and significant losses reported in the early part of 2018, according to a Bloomberg report. More than 150 cryptocurrency hedge funds appeared over the period, which coincided with rapid growth in legacy Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrency markets. However, with BTC down over 50% in 2018 so far, and hovering around its lowest level since November, investors and funds alike are now becoming more cautious. Multicoin Capital\u2019s Kyle Samani told the news outlet that \u201cnew capital has slowed, even for a higher-profile fund like ours.\u201d The sentiment has been reflected across the board, with as many as nine funds, including Alpha Protocol and Crowd Crypto Fund, already shutting up shop. Distributed fund Alpha Protocol has elected to return funds to investors, according to a post on their website, in light of possible \u201cregulatory and market risks.\u201d \u201cConsidering the potential regulatory and market risks, Alpha Protocol has decided that the best approach is to refund the private sale contributors,\u201d the company said. Meanwhile, Crowd Crypto Fund has removed its website and deleted associated social media accounts. Similarly, high-profile BTC enthusiast Mike Novogratz shelved his plans for a cryptocurrency fund back in December, opting to switch his attention to backing blockchain ventures through a new cryptocurrency merchant bank. Now, some analysts expect a wave of similar closures, with as many as 10% vulnerable to collapse. Rick Marini, of Protocol Ventures, told Bloomberg: \u201cWe are going to see it by the end of this year...People are able to leverage good returns last year to try to raise money this year, but this year is going to be different.\u201d Many of the 167 cryptocurrency hedge funds set up in 2017 were tied to investments in BTC, and coincided with the explosion in price that saw the value of BTC rise to near $20,000. However, following significant sell-offs in the months since, returns are already down as much as 23%. However, there are still a number of cryptocurrency hedge funds being established, with at least 20 setup in 2018 so far. Predominantly, they tend towards investments in a wider portfolio of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Ripple\u2019s XRP, as well as companies poised to benefit from blockchain technology, or developing commercial applications of the technology.