Firefighter Pension Fund Adds $25 Million of BTC and ETH

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  • The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund has invested $25 million in BTC and ETH
  • The firefighters’ fund enlisted the help of NYDIG to complete the purchase
  • The fund opted for real tokens over a Bitcoin ETF

The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund, which has $5.5 billion of assets, has bought $25 million worth of bitcoin and ethereum, calling it “an asset class we could no longer ignore.” The fund enlisted NYDIG to help them purchase the cryptocurrencies, which is another example of traditional funds entering into the cryptocurrency space.

Crypto and Pensions Slowly Making Friends

Cryptocurrency has tiptoed around the pension space in recent years, with pension plan provider ForUsAll launching America’s first crypto-exposed 401(k) in June, but existing pension funds with cryptocurrency exposure remain unsurprisingly low.

This is a pity for the cryptocurrency space, given that state and local government pension funds oversee more than $5.5 trillion in assets, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

The news that the Houston Firefighters fund is buying into cryptocurrencies is therefore good news, with Ajit Singh, the chief investment officer for fund, telling Bloomberg that the investment is “another tool to manage my risk” and that acts as a diversified investment tool because of the “low correlation to every other asset class.”

The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund isn’t the first pension fund to buy into cryptocurrency. Two Virginia pension funds, who made their first steps into the space in 2019, have recently said they are planning to expand their investments by another $50 million following a 10x return or more.

Firefighters’ Fund Chief Wanted Real Bitcoin

At a time when Bitcoin ETFs are all the rage, it was refreshing to hear that Singh didn’t want “synthetic exposure” to the asset but instead wanted the real thing:

We decided to go directly to the token. As more and more institutional adoptions happen, there will be more and more dynamics that develop for supply and demand. And having physical assets – actual tokens – gives us in the future the possibility of income generation potential.

The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund isn’t the first, and it certainly won’t be the last.