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Australian superannuation fund considers crypto investment

Australian superannuation fund considers crypto investment
One of Australia’s leading superannuation funds, Rest Super, indicated it is looking at investing in cryptocurrency — calling it a hedge against rising inflation — before stressing it is still only in the research phase of investing, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.



Fast facts



Speaking at the fund’s annual general meeting on Tuesday night, Rest chief investment officer Andrew Lill labelled blockchain and cryptocurrency technology as “disruptive” and a potential “stable source of value” when compared to fiat currencies. “I do think that, in an era of inflation, it could be a potentially good place to invest,” Lill said, adding: “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.”



Following Lill’s comments, a Rest spokesperson clarified the fund’s position on cryptocurrency in a statement, saying it is “certainly considering cryptocurrencies as a way to diversify our members’ retirement savings [but] will not be investing in the immediate future.” The spokesperson added the fund is also considering the security and regulatory aspects of investing in cryptocurrencies.



Superannuation funds are government-mandated retirement funds that control vast sums of capital. Worth AU$66 billion (US$47.53 billion), Rest Super is a retail and hospitality fund representing more than two million members.



Australia’s largest fund, AustralianSuper, which controls over AU$233 billion (US$167.86 billion), recently took a hardline stance against cryptocurrency at a summit on Monday: “We don’t see cryptocurrency as investible for our members,” said CEO Paul Schroder, explaining cryptocurrency does not meet the criteria for investment as it does not generate an income stream and that the fund does not hold gold for the same reason.



Forkast.News reported on superannuation in Australia recently — but for all the wrong reasons. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has accused two Gold Coast business owners of defrauding 92 investors out of AU$25 million (US$18 million) who were trying to gain early access to their superannuation. It is also alleged the pair used the defrauded funds to buy Bitcoin and luxury cars as well as to make a significant donation to their church. ASIC has now seized a cold wallet believed to hold nearly US$20 million in Bitcoin allegedly connected to the defrauded funds.

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