March 8th - This Week in Alternative Investments

This issue is brought to you by 10 East, where sophisticated investors access private markets.


Bite-sized market updates

  • Are NFTs back?

  • London’s spring art auction season kicked off

  • Bitcoin hits an all-time high

  • Pre-IPO share trading comes to Morgan Stanley

  • A Kobe NBA Finals Jersey triples in value

Plus: Record gold prices, overlooked startup sectors, more family offices than ever, and more.


$67,404 (+9.7% weekly)
Card Ladder 50
14,257 (+0.6% weekly)
Thomson-Reuters VC Index
18,082.41 (+0.3% weekly)
FHFA House Price Index - Dec.
417.8 (+0.4 monthly)


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Market Updates

A CryptoPunk NFT sold for more than $16 million. Punk #3100 is a rare “alien” punk - one of only nine of its kind - and its sale represents the 2nd-highest ever for the prominent NFT collection. Punk #3100 last sold for $7.58 million in 2021 after originally selling for just $2,127 in 2017. While some are heralding the sale as a return to a bull market for NFTs, it is important to note that this NFT is among the most sought after within arguably the most prominent collection, so it may very well be an exception. While the floor price for CryptoPunks rose immediately after the sale, it has fallen to a nearly 3-month low (denominated in Ethereum) since. Other notable NFTs collections, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, have also seen their floor prices drop, as the crypto surge has not translated to NFTs as of yet.

The first major art auctions of the year took place in London. First, Sotheby’s saw $126 million in sales for their modern and contemporary art offering, just over the low estimate and a sharp decline over the $208 million last year’s auction brought. Next, Phillips’ 20th century and contemporary art auction brought in just £10.9 million, below their estimates, and about half of last year’s £20.3 million haul. Finally, in more positive news, Christie’s two modern sales saw total sales of $250 million, a 17% improvement from last year, led by a $43.2 million sale of a Magritte painting. Overall, it was not an encouraging start to the year as the upper tier of the market continues to soften.

Bitcoin surpassed $70,000, hitting a new all-time high. Every week has been bringing a new milestone for the cryptocurrency, as it just passed $60,000 last week after hitting $50,000 two weeks before that. It has now tripled in price over the past twelve months, and mainstream interest has been growing along with it. Spot trading volume reached a yearly high and has grown by 680% since the start of 2024, and daily inflows for Bitcoin ETFs have hit all-time highs. The price remains volatile, so it is best to invest only if you have long-term conviction and can weather the wild swings.

Morgan Stanley’s wealth management arm is now offering clients the ability to buy pre-IPO shares. With many prominent startups, like SpaceX, OpenAI and Stripe, staying private for longer, and the amount raised in IPOs falling by nearly 90 the past two years, demand has risen for access to pre-IPO opportunities. According to Morgan Stanley, “[t]here’s been increasing pressure over the past number of years to get into these companies while the value creation is occurring.” This is representative of the trend towards private market investing, as demand rises for investment options not available in traditional markets.

Smart Humans Podcast

In this episode, Slava Rubin talks with Cult Wines' Tom Gearing about investing into wine as an asset class.


Photos of

Gold hit an all-time high

  • While Bitcoin has often been called “digital gold,” actual gold just also hit its all-time high, reaching $2,160 per troy ounce, a gain of 8% in the last month.

  • A game-worn Kobe Bryant NBA Finals jersey sold for $915,000, nearly triple its last sale of $337,334 in January 2021, as rare game-worn items continue to show strength.

  • AI has dominated the VC world the past year, but other sectors such as space exploration and robotics could make similar leaps over the next few years.

  • The number of family offices tripled since 2019, managing more than $6 trillion in assets, boosting demand for investment in alternative assets like real estate, venture capital and private equity.

  • The Better Business Bureau says that crypto-related scams are now the biggest financial risk for consumers, and with the market booming, it is good to be reminded to watch out when dealing in the notoriously unregulated space.

  • Miami and New York have been named the top luxury real estate markets in the U.S. for 2024.

  • Moody’s is warning investors that private credit returns could fall this year, largely due to increased competition in the space, driving “convergence in terms and pricing between banks and nonbanks.”

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