Some of the most extensive university institution funds in the U.S. have been serenely buying cryptocurrency for the past year or so through accounts held at Coinbase and other exchanges.
According to two experts familiar with the position, Harvard, Yale, Brown and the University of Michigan, followed by several other colleges, have been purchasing crypto directly on exchanges.
“There are quite a few,” an unknown source said. “A lot of endowments are allocating a little bit to crypto at the moment.”
Yale and Brown did not respond to the questions when the press was going on. The Harvard and University of Michigan endowments did not respond when they have been contacted by CoinDesk. Coinbase also refused to comment. University endowments got a single remark in Coinbase’s annual report for 2020, without mentioning any particular names.
Some of the university endowments funds in question may have held the statements with Coinbase for 18 months, according to a source.
“It could be since mid-2019,” the source maintained. “Most have been in at least a year. I would think they will presumably discuss it openly at some point this year. I disbelieve they would be sitting on some pretty nice chunk of return.”
Many other universities accompanied Yale in backing crypto VCs, including Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth College, MIT, University of North Carolina and Michigan. Obviously, some of those schools appear to be taking the next step by investing undeviatingly in cryptocurrency assets.
Another source, involved in the crypto hedge fund world, guided to “a big change” over the past few months. “We are seeing defined benefit pension plans getting close to making allocations. We are seeing public pension plans getting close to making allocations,” the person responded.
“If I had heard that three years ago, I would have said it was wrong,” mentioned Ari Paul, co-founder of BlockTower Capital and recently an investment manager for the University of Chicago. “But a lot of institutions are now comfortable with bitcoin. They understand it and can just buy it directly, as long as it’s from a regulated entity like Coinbase, Fidelity or Anchorage.”