update 22 October 2021

US Firefighter Pension Fund Invests in Bitcoin and Ethereum

A pension fund in the United States has added both Bitcoin and Ether to its portfolio. This marks the first-ever cryptocurrency investment by a US public pension plan, further highlighting institutional demand for crypto exposure.

Firefighter Pension Partners With NAYDIG

According to a press release from Newswire, the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF) announced their investment this morning. NAYDIG – a Fintech service provider for banks, corporations, and institutions – facilitated the purchase on the fund’s behalf. It used NAYDIG’s audited and regulated custody system through a customized private fund managed by the service provider.

NAYDIG has assisted multiple major institutions in safely storing their cryptocurrency assets. Chainalysis has also utilized NAYDIG’s custody services to safely store its newly acquired Bitcoin.

Under the partnership, HFRRF will secure the two most popular crypto assets on behalf of its 6,600 benefactors. These benefactors include both active and retired firefighters.

Ajit Singh – Chief Investment Officer of HFRRF – described his new investment as an expression of his company’s values:

“We are excited to take this first step forward into the world of digital assets. This investment expresses our belief in the disruptive potential of distributed ledger technology for the development and democratization of value accumulation through disintermediation.

The CIO claims to have been investigating cryptocurrency for a long time, and recognized its “transformative potential”.

Bitcoin’s Growing Legitimacy

Nate Conrad – Global Head of Asset Management at NYDIG – understood the significance of the pension plan’s investment.

“This investment represents a watershed moment for bitcoin and its place in public pensions. Fiduciaries are increasingly aware of how even a small allocation to digital assets can make a big impact over time, and they now have a partner in NYDIG who can help them make it happen.”

More and more people see Bitcoin as a legitimate asset. Also, major investors and funds are now experimenting in this space. For instance, billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones says he allocates a single-digit percentage of his portfolio to Bitcoin. Furthermore, PayPal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel recently confessed that he wishes he’d bought more.

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While Institutional excitement grows for the industry, so do regulators’ fears. Last week, the Bank of England hypothesized that the cryptocurrency market could destabilize the entire financial system. The threat becomes especially strong as firms continue bringing the speculative asset class into traditional finance.