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Houston's $5 billion firefighter retirement fund buys $25 million worth of bitcoin and ethereum

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Bitcoin and Ethereum
Bitcoin and Ethereum. NurPhoto / Getty Images
  • The Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund bought $25 million worth of bitcoin and ether.

  • The fund, which serves 6,600 firefighters and survivors, has $5.5 billion in assets under management.

  • The fund's CIO said the purchase represents the belief in crypto's disruptive potential.

Houston firefighters' pension fund has gotten into crypto investing - in a big way.

The Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund announced it purchased $25 million worth of bitcoin and ethereum with the help of NYDIG, aka New York Digital Investment Group.

The fund, which has $5.5 billion in assets under management, said the investment has been years in the making.

Ajit Singh, the fund's chief investment officer, said it expresses the belief in "the disruptive potential" of cryptocurrencies. "We are excited to take this first step forward into the world of digital assets."

The investment "represents a watershed moment for bitcoin and its place in public pensions," Nate Conrad, NYDIG's global head of asset management, said in the the press release.

Public pension funds oversee about $5.5 trillion worth of assets, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators found.

In its story, Bloomberg reported that the Houston firefighters' pension fund isn't the first to leap into digital assets, as two in Virginia bought some two years ago.

Houston's fund includes more than 6,600 active and retired firefighters and survivors of firefighters, according to its website.

Bitcoin has been on a rapid rally this week after regulators approved the first-ever bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which trades under the ticker BITO, has already surpassed $1 billion in assets under management since it launched on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, the fastest an ETF has ever done so.

Bitcoin, which hit an all-time high near $67,000 this week, fell 5.7% to $63,103.11 at 11:03 a.m. in New York, CoinMarketCap data show. Ethereum, the world's second largest cryptocurrency, traded slightly higher at $4,095.28.

Read the original article on Business Insider