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US firefighters pension fund invests $25 million in ether and bitcoin

US firefighters pension fund invests $25 million in ether and bitcoin

Last updated 12th Apr 2022
Disclosure

Houston’s firefighters’ pension fund announced yesterday that it had added $25 million worth of bitcoin and ether to its benefits plan portfolio.

The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF) is the first US public pension plan to announce cryptocurrency investment. It manages $5.5 billion in assets for the City of Houston’s retired and active firefighters and the survivors of firefighters.

The New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) exclusively facilitated the investment. NYDIG is a leading financial and technology services firm dedicated to cryptocurrencies for private clients, institutions, and banks. A customized private fund managed by the firm through its insured, audited, and regulated custody system was used in the investment. 

NYDIG’s global head of asset management, Nate Conrad, described the investment as a critical historical moment for bitcoin and its place in public retirement schemes.

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The potential of digital assets

HFRRF’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Ajit Singh, noted that the move had been years in the making. He pointed out that they’ve studied the transformative potential of digital assets for a while and are confident the investment will pay off. 

Singh emphasized that after watching and analyzing, it became clear that cryptocurrencies can no longer be ignored. HFRRF paves the way for other forward-thinking institutions and entities looking for the best ways to serve their customers through the immense impact potential of digital assets.

HFRRF has over 6,600 benefactors, with active firefighters contributing 9% of their salary to the fund since 2004.  Instead of taking on risks associated with future-related investments, Singh chose to go for direct tokens. 

With more institutional adoptions happening, dynamics for developing supply and demand will increase. According to the CIO, having the actual tokens will provide HFRRF with increased possibilities for income generation potential and positive expected returns that help manage risk. 

Increased interest from institutional investors

Bitcoin has recently hit new highs and has more than doubled since the year began. More and more institutional investors are now giving cryptocurrencies another look. Executives and companies are becoming more open to investing in digital assets.

Square Inc, the payments company owned by Jack Dorsey, spent millions buying bitcoin. He is also the chief executive of Twitter, which has explored using cryptocurrencies to pay vendors and employees. 

Other retirement plans like ForUsAll, a 401(k) provider, have also recently dipped their toes into crypto by allowing their workers to invest portions of their retirement contributions in digital assets. 

Walter Akolo

Walter Akolo

Walter is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. He covers the latest news on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. Walter has a decade of experience as a writer.