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Public Pension Funds Still See Crypto As Key Investment
While the $32 billion crash of SBF’s FTX Ponzi scheme continues to echo through the financial and media world, we see encouraging signs that investors including pension funds are not giving into spreading the FTX contagion to other digital assets. Some clearer heads see crypto, in fact, as integral to the success of their portfolios. According to MarketWatch:
The Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System, a defined-benefit pension plan covering law-enforcement officers in the sprawling northern Virginia county, has over 7% of assets invested in crypto-related holdings, according to a person familiar with the fund, spread across venture capital and hedge fund holdings as well as “yield farming” through funds that provide short-term loans to crypto-related firms.
“I’ve been really happy about how we’ve thought about it and how we’ve approached” crypto-related investments, Katherine Molnar, the fund’s chief investment officer, said during a panel discussion hosted by blockchain advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce just a few days after FTX filed for bankruptcy.
As for the FTX debacle, “the washing out of weak players or potentially inappropriate actors–while causing volatility and is admittedly stressful–is ultimately a healthy thing,” Molnar wrote in a mid-November email, reviewed by MarketWatch, to a consultant who had inquired about the pension fund’s crypto exposure. “Our underlying investment thesis–that the innovation around blockchain technology is a high growth area going forward–has not changed,” Molnar wrote.
Molnar oversees a fund that managed $1.8 billion in assets for the benefit of more than 2,700 active and retired participants in the middle of 2021, according to the fund’s most recent annual report. It had no direct exposure to FTX, Molnar wrote in the email, outside of market volatility.