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Harvard, Yale and Brown university endowments among those reportedly buying cryptocurrency

Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University and the University of Michigan are among schools whose multibillion-dollar endowments have begun buying cryptocurrency directly on exchanges, according to a report.

Numerous large US university endowments have been buying cryptocurrency on exchanges..
Numerous large US university endowments have been buying cryptocurrency on exchanges.. (REUTERS)

Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University and the University of Michigan are among schools whose multibillion-dollar endowments have begun buying cryptocurrency directly on exchanges, according to a report.

Numerous large US university endowments have been buying cryptocurrency on exchanges, CoinDesk reported, citing two people familiar with the situation. A lot of endowments are allocating a small portion to crypto, and most have been in for at least a year, CoinDesk cited one of the people as saying.

Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, mentioned endowments as among clients who have been investing in crypto, in a report this month. Endowments have been buying on other exchanges as well, CoinDesk reported.

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Rising institutional adoption has been one of crypto’s biggest stories in the past year. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, rose fourfold in 2020 and has gained even more to start this year, though trading at around $32,000 on Tuesday is well off its highs near $42,000 from earlier in the month. Big investors like Guggenheim Partners LLC and Paul Tudor Jones have touted it, helping raise interest and set a precedent. And it’s been increasingly mentioned as a diversifier in asset allocations, a sort of “digital gold.”

“While 2020’s unusual macroeconomic environment has accelerated crypto adoption, importantly, many clients who allocated this year — particularly endowments, corporates and other long-term investors — do not believe the present market dynamics are required for Bitcoin’s success,” Coinbase said in its report. “They intend to hold Bitcoin as part of their core portfolio over the long term, throughout varying market conditions.”

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Coinbase, Harvard, the Yale Investments Office, Brown’s Investment Office and the University of Michigan didn’t respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg made outside of normal business hours.

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