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Arizona Senate considers Bitcoin and other digital asset ETFs for state pension investment

The move reflects a broader trend of diversification within retirement portfolios.

Arizona Senate considers Bitcoin and other digital asset ETFs for state pension investment

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The Arizona state Senate is considering investing a portion of the state’s pension fund in the Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), alongside other digital asset ETFs, according to a Fact Sheet prepared by the Senate Research staff on February 8, 2024.

The concurrent resolution passed by the Senate and now under the FICO committee’s review, suggests that the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) should evaluate the benefits and feasibility of adding digital assets to their portfolios.

Established in 1953, the ASRS aims to attract and retain employees with competitive pay, long-term incentives, and a secure retirement plan. Similarly, the PSPRS, founded in 1968, offers retirement benefits for public safety personnel facing hazardous duties.

The document encourages both systems to evaluate the inclusion of digital asset ETFs in their portfolios, monitor developments in Bitcoin and other digital asset ETFs, consult with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the inclusion of such assets, and report on the potential of investing in digital asset ETFs.

While this legislation is not expected to impact the state General Fund fiscally, the move reflects a growing trend among states to diversify retirement funds with crypto investments. Notably, a Houston firefighters’ pension fund invested $25 million in Bitcoin and Ether in 2021, and a Virginia police officers’ retirement system allocated funds to crypto-related investments starting in 2019.

Goldman Sachs’ global head of digital assets, Mathew McDermott, sees the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs as a gateway for pensions and insurers to enter the crypto market.

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