The central theses
- Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan have amassed cryptocurrencies, among others, according to a CoinDesk report.
- According to one source, higher education institutions have been buying digital assets for “at least a year”.
- Coinbase’s “2020 in Review” report for institutions mentioned “university foundations”.
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Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan are reportedly among a list of universities making foundation allocations in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and other exchanges hold the funds.
Universities Eye Crypto
At least four of the world’s leading universities bought cryptocurrencies yesterday, according to a CoinDesk report.
Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan have reportedly given university foundations in cryptocurrencies alongside other colleges.
A source said that “a lot of foundations are allocating a little crypto right now,” adding that some of those institutions “have been in at least a year”. Cryptocurrencies have seen a boom recently– In the last 12 months alone, an allocation to Bitcoin would have risen by 278.6% CoinGecko.
Although no endorsement was given by their respective schools, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan were highlighted as the youngest crypto converters.
In Coinbase Prime’s “2020 in Review” report, the exchange notes that the customer base “now includes more conservative, traditional institutions like university foundations, public corporations, macro hedge funds and other multi-strategy allocators.”
Coinbase Prime is one of the institutional areas of the company alongside Coinbase Custody. Perhaps the world’s best-known cryptocurrency exchange, the company has helped several institutions integrate digital assets.
This made possible, among other things, the now famous Bitcoin bet from MicroStrategy amounting to 425 million US dollars.
Institutional adoption of digital assets
University foundations typically collect funds like charitable donations. Some are then invested in other assets. The foundations are used to pay for teaching and research.
Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan are among the most prestigious universities in the world, and their endowment funds partly reflect that. Harvard, which regularly tops the university lists alongside Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge, has endowment assets of around 41.9 billion US dollars, by far the largest in the world.
Harvard’s 2020 Financial Report highlights an allocation of 18.9% in public equity, 23% in private equity, and 36.4% in hedge funds, although digital assets are not specifically mentioned.
In October 2018, Yale made an investment Paradigm, a fund launched by Fred Ehrsam of Coinbase and Matt Hang of Sequoia Capital. Days later the time had come popped up that Harvard and other institutions had invested in crypto funds.
So far, none of the universities mentioned above has confirmed a direct assignment to crypto. This would help cement the view that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are an emerging asset class, an idea that many institutional investors have been targeting since 2020.
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