According to a report published by The Information, distinguished U.S. universities are investing portions of their endowments into different cryptocurrency funds. Institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of North Carolina have altogether invested tens of millions of dollars into these funds.
There are different types of funds relating to the cryptocurrency space. There are funds which directly hold cryptocurrencies, funds which invest in other companies that develop technology within the cryptocurrency field or funds that do both, such as a16z. At this stage, however, it is unclear into which exact funds each university has invested.
All of the aforementioned universities place within the richest 22 universities in the world. They thusly receive very large endowments ranging from Dartmouth’s $4.95 billion USD to Harvard’s $36 billion USD. Hence, the millions they contribute to crypto funds make up a small percentage of their endowments. These institutions still have very little exposure to the cryptocurrency class of assets.
Despite this, the institutions’ engagement with the crypto field still brings about the further legitimization of it. Jon Victor from The Information explains that “backing from such closely watched institutions could help validate cryptocurrencies, which are still considered too risky by many institutional investors.”
It has long been predicted by crypto analysts that a number of institutions were interested in investing in crypto funds but were waiting for a major player to do so first.
This major player made its appearance when Ivy League giant Yale invested $400 million USD into a new cryptocurrency fund. This was a significant move which has sparked a paradigm shift in how institutions think about investing.
It isn’t just U.S. universities that are opening up their doors to cryptocurrency. International universities have begun offering courses on cryptocurrency related fields. Cambridge University has conducted research into the field and the University of Lucerne now accepts Bitcoin as payment for tuition.
Institutions are slowly allowing themselves exposure to the area of cryptocurrency. All in all, progress is being made.