- A U.S. public pension fund has invested in bitcoin for the first time.
- The Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund acquired an undisclosed amount of BTC through institutional bitcoin services provider NYDIG.
- The investment "represents a watershed moment for bitcoin and its place in public pensions," the global head of asset management at NYDIG said.
The pension fund for Houston's firefighters, the Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF), announced today that it had purchased bitcoin for the defined benefit plan's portfolio, making it the first announced investment in BTC by a public pension fund in the U.S.
"This investment represents a watershed moment for bitcoin and its place in public pensions," said Nate Conrad, global head of asset management at NYDIG. "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."
HFRRF acquired BTC and another cryptocurrency in a $25 million purchase facilitated by the institutional bitcoin services provider NYDIG, who will also provide custody services to the pension fund, Bloomberg reported. NYDIG has set up a private fund, which it will manage, to acquire and custody the assets on behalf of HFRRF.
“I see this as another tool to manage my risk,” Ajit Singh, the chief investment officer for the fund, told Bloomberg. “It has a positive expected return and it manages my risk. It has a low correlation to every other asset class.”
HFRRF plans to nourish the partnership with NYDIG going forward to allow its over 6,600 benefactors to leverage the suite of bitcoin-focused services provided by NYDIG's full-stack platform. HFRRF benefactors include active and retired firefighters and survivors of firefighters.
The purchase marks the first-ever bitcoin investment by a public pension in the U.S., which has the potential to benefit HFRRF members significantly over the long run if BTC continues to appreciate against the dollar as it has for the entirety of its lifetime.