Yale, Whose Endowment Tops $29 Billion, Invests In Crypto: Which Ivy League School Is Next?

Samantha Chang

Yale University — whose endowment tops $29 billion — has just become the first Ivy League school to invest in cryptocurrencies, in a sign that institutional investors are becoming bullish about the burgeoning digital currency industry.

David Swensen, the chief investment officer at Yale, has invested in two crypto-focused venture funds: Andreessen Horowitz's $300 million cryptocurrency fund, and Paradigm — a blockchain- and crypto-centric fund launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam and former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang.

David Swensen is known as Yale's "Warren Buffett" because of his success in growing the university's massive endowment, CNBC reported.

That said, even a 1 percent allocation to bitcoin by Yale would top a staggering $290 million.

Two weeks ago, bitcoin perma-bull Mike Novogratz — the founder of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital Capital Management — revealed that an unnamed endowment had just made a foray into digital currencies, as the Inquisitr previously reported.

While Novogratz did not name Yale University as the Big Dog investor, it now seems clear that Yale was the entity he was referring to.

"People are excited about it, but afraid of being the first, or having to explain themselves," said Barhydt. "That's the fear versus greed of institutional investing. There's a herd mentality there as much as there is in retail investing."

Novogratz said an impetus for the forthcoming rally was that global institutions like Goldman Sachs and ICE (Intercontinental Exchange Inc.) — the owner of the New York Stock Exchange — were constructing financial frameworks to facilitate the adoption of crypto.

"It's also a bull market in institutions building the infrastructure needed for real-money investors to start investing in this space," Novogratz told CNBC (video below). "Three to six months from now, there will be an 'all-clear' sign for people — big institutions and pension [funds] — to start investing."

"I do think it's inevitable from a few angles," Paul told CNBC. "Even if they never believe in it as an asset class, they're smart enough to recognize the alpha opportunity."

Ari Paul, the former portfolio manager for the University of Chicago (which has a $7.8 billion endowment), said several university endowments and pension funds began researching digital currencies as investment vehicles as early as 2015.

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