Some of the largest university endowment funds including the University of Michigan, Brown, Yale, and Harvard have been quietly buying cryptocurrency for the past year. The Ivy League universities have been purchasing the cryptocurrencies directly through accounts held at Coinbase and other exchanges. University endowments are capital accumulated by academic institutions, usually in the form of charitable donations. These funds can be utilized for teaching and research as well as allocated to various assets for investment purposes.
Prominent Universities Buying Cryptos Directly on Exchanges
According to two unnamed sources, prominent universities such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan as well as several other colleges in the U.S. have been buying crypto directly on exchanges.
One of the sources said:
“There are quite a few. A lot of endowments are allocating a little bit to crypto at the moment.”
According to the source, some of the university endowment funds might have held accounts with Coinbase for atleast a year and a half:
“It could be since mid-2019. Most have been in at least a year. I would think they will probably discuss it publicly at some point this year. I suspect they would be sitting on some pretty nice chunks of return.”
Harvard has the largest university endowment with over $40 billion in assets. Yale has over $30 billion while Michigan has about $12.5 billion, with Brown holding $4.7 billion in assets. However, it is still unknown how much each fund has allocated in cryptocurrencies.
Universities Around the World Into Cryptocurrencies
Universities all around the world have been into cryptocurrencies for a very long time. High net worth individuals have also been donating bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to popular universities or the universities themselves backing up crypto startups. For instance, in February 2019, the University of Michigan invested in the crypto venture capital fund managed by Andreessen Horowitz. In May 2019, Yale invested in the cryptocurrency fund Paradigm.
Other prominent universities that accept cryptocurrencies and offer elective courses that teach blockchain technology includes Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Puget Sound, and Princeton.