Rest Super Retirement Fund of Australia to Soon Invest in Crypto for its 1.8M Members

Shumaila  |  Nov 24, 2021

Rest Super, an Australian superannuation company, is expected to become the country's first retirement fund to invest in crypto.

The fund has 1.8 million members and more than $46.8 billion in assets under management (AUM). All employees are required to participate in superannuation, which is similar to a 401k or Individual Retirement Account in the United States. Until now, the $2.4 trillion industry has been wary of cryptocurrencies.

Australian Retirement Fund Rest Super to Now Invest in Crypto

Rest Super's chief investment officer Andrew Lill informed members at the company's annual general meeting on Nov. 23 that digital assets are an "essential aspect" of the company's portfolio going forward, but that it will move "seriously and prudently," stressing that:

“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.”

In a time when investors are flocking to crypto as a hedge against fiat-based inflation, Lill believes that providing members with exposure to crypto and blockchain technology might give a "reliable source of value."

“I do think that, in an era of inflation, it could be a potentially good place to invest,” he added.
A Rest spokeswoman stated in a statement following the CIO's address that it is "certainly considering cryptocurrencies as a way to diversify our members’ retirement savings [but] will not be investing in the immediate future.”
“We are currently conducting extensive research into the asset class prior to making any decisions,” the spokesperson noted. “We are also considering the security and regulatory aspects of investing in this class."

The remarks contrast with those made this week by Australian Super, whose chief executive, Paul Schroder, stated on Monday that "we don't see cryptocurrency as investible for our members."

Superannuation May Adopt Cryptocurrencies in the Future

Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), a state-owned investment institution, was reported to be exploring getting crypto exposure last month. The corporation, however, told Business Insider this week that the claims were "incorrectly indicated" and downplayed any initiatives toward digital asset adoption.

While Stuart Simmons, QIC's head of currency, anticipates superannuation funds to adopt crypto in the future, he believes it will be "likely a trickle, rather than a flood."

Following the development of extensive regulatory proposals by a Senate committee in October as part of a push to develop Australia into the next crypto hub, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) move to provide crypto trading via its banking app earlier this month, the discussion comes at a potentially bullish time for the Australian crypto market.

Although the country waits to see which of its main traditional financial institutions will be the next to embrace crypto, CBA CEO Matt Comyn claimed earlier this week that the bank was more motivated by FOMO than by concerns about the risks involved with digital assets.

He explained, "We see risks in participating, but we see bigger risks in not participating."

It's still a long haul before any developments take place to shape up a robust crypto space in the country and its economy.

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