World’s largest pension fund is considering investing in bitcoin

Japan’s government pension fund will explore investments in “illiquidity assets,” including forests, farmland, gold and bitcoin

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The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) of Japan is looking to invest in illiquidity assets, including bitcoin.

In a request for information (RFI) released on Tuesday, the pension fund notes that it currently has funds in domestic bonds and stocks, foreign bonds and stocks, real estate, infrastructure and private equity. 

The GPIF revealed that it is considering investing in “illiquidity assets,” including forests, farmland, gold and bitcoin. It will consider further research on these assets based on the initial information they receive. 

The deadline for information submission is April 19, 2024, at 3 am ET (5 pm JST). Subsequent briefings on the RFI will not be held, and the usage of information will not be publicly disclosed. 

Read more: Japan’s crypto policy takes a positive step forward

Japan’s GPIF is not the first pension fund to consider assets in the cryptocurrency realm. South Korea’s National Pension Service has previously purchased shares in Coinbase, totaling approximately $20 million. The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund had also purchased both bitcoin and ether, though the investment was met with mixed feelings.

According to a CFA Institute survey that was conducted in April 2022, more than 94% of state government and pension plan sponsors reported that they had invested in cryptocurrencies. The report did not indicate the type of cryptocurrency-related investments that received interest. However, it did note that 62% of corporate benefit plans had placed capital in the sector.

Read more: Where pension funds stand today on crypto investments 

Additionally, the Arizona state senate has been working with lawmakers and state retirement fund managers on a resolution that will allocate portions of portfolios to bitcoin ETFs. If passed, the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) will be required to create a report which will assess the feasibility and risk of investing a portion of state retirement funds toward digital asset ETFs

At the time of writing, the price of bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $63,000, up by over 120% since the previous year.


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