Some of the most prestigious American universities are said to have discreetly invested part of their stipends in cryptomoney. The operations would be carried out via accounts held at Coinbase and would have started more than a year ago.
Crypto purchases with discretion
The list of institutional investors who devote part of their budget to cryptosurveillance is growing. Endowment funds from some of the major American universities are among these new buyers, although no official statement has been made to confirm the information revealed by Coindesk. It should be noted, however, that the Coinbase Exchange, in its recently published annual report, also mentions this, without mentioning a name.
Harvard is said to have the largest endowment with more than 40 billion dollars, followed by Yale, which has allocated more than 30 billion dollars to cryptomoney. The University of Michigan and Brown University would also have dedicated a portion of their allocations to cryptography. A percentage for each of them probably not exceeding, for the moment, a tiny fraction of their total assets estimated at $600 billion in 2017.
It should be remembered that American universities have a long tradition of funding through private donations. Donations that are, of course, systematically invested (private equity, real estate, raw materials, etc.) to generate interest. Because, legally, universities can only spend the income from returns on investment. In fact, in order to increase their assets, they do not hesitate to adopt risky investment strategies, often with complete discretion, as in the case of cryptomoney.
An investment in crypto that is set to become widespread
In 2018, David Swensen, director of investments at Yale University, caused a sensation by revealing that his university was supporting two venture capital funds linked to the crypto industry. It was later learned that other universities in the northeastern United States (the prestigious Ivy League) were not to be outdone. They too would have supported the same type of fund before moving on to direct purchases.
Ari Paul, a former investment director at the University of Chicago, is no longer concerned. For him, the fact that major American universities are now investing in crypto seems logical.
Three years ago, I would have said it wasn’t true (…) But many institutions are now comfortable with Bitcoin. They understand it and can buy it directly, as long as it comes from a regulated entity like Coinbase, Fidelity or Anchorage. »
The news could encourage other private educational institutions to follow suit. When MicroStrategy and Square announced their first investments in Bitcoin, it didn’t take long to see an unprecedented influx of companies and fund managers into the ecosystem. Presumably the same will be true for colleges and universities.
In any case, the « seam » of smart money doesn’t seem to be drying up any time soon. And all the more so as interest is growing. Indeed, if until very recently only Bitcoin attracted institutional covetousness, Ether would now also win the favor of major players.