The Senate Banking Committee has been hearing testimonies from various stakeholders in the cryptocurrency industry and their opposers. Legislators are yet to decide if cryptocurrency, and thus the technology behind it, is the most significant technological innovations of this generation or the “mother of all scams,” as notable economist Nouriel Roubini calls it.
However, away from the power circles of Washington, prominent educational institutions are diving in digital currencies. The endowments of Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina (UNC) are making crypto investments.
Cryptocurrency Funds Are a Preferred Choice
The endowments of the abovementioned institutions have invested in at least one cryptocurrency fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. Most institutions have avoided crypto investments because of the lack of technical knowledge, as well as price volatility and legal uncertainty around the sector. But these top-notch universities could pave the way for the further acceptance of crypto assets.
Acceptance from institutes like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford could help other institutions shed their apprehensions as well. The endowments of these institutions have put tens of millions of dollars getting into crypto funds. These endowments are valued at billions of dollars, with Harvard’s funds alone standing at $39.2 billion.
The New Trend in University Endowments
CNBC reported last week that Yale University is spending part of its endowment into the $300 million Andreessen Horowitz crypto fund and a new fund called Paradigm, which is being launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam and former Sequoia Partner Matt Huang. The university has more than $29 billion dollars in assets.
Universities and pension funds are turning out to be the biggest investors in hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital. The move by Yale into cryptocurrencies is a definitive signal that they are finding promise amid the risks of price fluctuations and uncertain regulations that digital assets pose.
Yale and Harvard endowments, two of the biggest in the US, faced severe losses during the financial crisis. These endowments are used to fund research, financial aid, and salaries of their faculties.