Houston Firefighters Pension Fund Makes Bitcoin, Ether Purchase

The fund has invested $25 million in crypto in what appears to be a first for a U.S. public pension plan.

Oct 21, 2021 at 2:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 21, 2021 at 8:42 p.m. UTC

A pension fund for firefighters in Houston has made a purchase in bitcoin and ether facilitated by bitcoin investment firm NYDIG.

  • The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund’s (HFRRF) purchase marks the first time a public pension plan in the U.S. has announced an investment in digital assets, according to an announcement Thursday.
  • The fund has invested $25 million in bitcoin and ether, though it has not disclosed how this is split between the two. The fund holds over $4 billion in total assets, according to Bloomberg.
  • “I see this as another tool to manage my risk,” Bloomberg quoted Ajit Singh, the chief investment officer for fund, as saying. “It has a positive expected return, and it manages my risk. It has a low correlation to every other asset class.”
  • The investment was made via bitcoin investment firm NYDIG, which is providing the custody for the crypto purchased.
  • The HFRRF membership is composed of 6,600 active and retired firefighters and their families. Since 2004, active firefighters have contributed 9% of their salary to the fund, with the City of Houston required to contribute at least double that amount by state statue.

UPDATE (Oct. 21, 14:45 UTC): Updated with information and quotes in the second and third bullet points.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.