Rest Super Could Be The First Australian Pension Fund To Invest In Cryptocurrency

Rest Super Considering Crypto Exposure for Members

According to Business Insider Australia, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Rest Super, Andrew Lill, during a general meeting held on Tuesday (Nov. 23, 2021), said that crypto is viewed “as a veryinteresting and important part of our portfolio going forward into the future.”

However, the CIO noted that the company was adopting cautionary measures, as it is carrying out research and also considering the regulatory and security implications before investing in cryptocurrency.

A statement from Lill said:

“It’s still a very volatile investment, so any allocation exposure we make to cryptocurrencies is likely to be part of our diversified portfolio as initially a fairly small allocation that may, over time, build.”

While Rest Super is not looking to immediately add crypto to its portfolio, it is the latest fund to signal interest in the emerging asset class. On the other hand, AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, said that it was not planning to use member funds to invest in cryptocurrency.

Another Australian pension fund, Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), reportedly wanted to enable crypto exposure for its members. However, QIC later told Business Insider Australia that the reports were “incorrectly implied”, indicating that the fund had no such intention.

Super Funds Still Cautious About Crypto

Meanwhile, Stuart Simmons, head of currency for QIC, said that super funds may consider investing in crypto as the market continues to mature, stating that cryptocurrency exposure might represent a little portion of their portfolios.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of crypto exchange Independent Reserve, Lasanka Perera, revealed that most fund managers already personally invest in crypto. Perera also stated that while there is resistance from major investors, the first fund to allow cryptocurrency exposure could trigger a wave of similar exposure from other super funds.

“So, it might seem to us like it may take five or 10 years for super funds to allow their investors to get crypto exposure. But I think if one goes, then all of a sudden you see a few others get into it.”

Australian Senator Urges Government to Embrace Opportunities Inherent in DeFi

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency has seen growing interest in Australia. Earlier in November, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) became the first bank in the country to support crypto. In collaboration with U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, CBA will offer crypto services to customers via its banking app.

The Australian banking giant will initially support ten crypto assets including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), and is planning a pilot for a few customers in the coming weeks, before launching a full service in 2022.

Senator Jane Hume, while speaking at the Australian Financial Review Super and Wealth Summit held in Sydney on November 22, said that government should acknowledge that cryptocurrency is “not a fad”. Speaking about decentralized finance (DeFi), Hume said:

“De‑centralised finance underpinned by blockchain technology will present incredible opportunities — Australia mustn’t be left behind by fear of the unknown.”

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