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$190B Ontario pension says no to crypto after FTX investment loss

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The Onatario Teachers’ Pension Plan has decided to steer its investment away from cryptocurrencies. 

The decision comes after the OTPP — which manages over $190 billion in assets  — lost the entirety of its $95 million investment in crypto exchange FTX after it went bust in November 2022.

OTPP was one of the many backers of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange and had invested twice: Once during the bull market in 2021 and again during exchange’s Series C funding round in early 2022.

OTPP chief executive Jo Taylor said in an interview with the Financial Times that it’d be unwise for the pension fund to rush into another crypto investment. Taylor said that they are still processing what happened with the exchange, and they would be much more cautious before investing in emerging assets like digital currencies. The pension fund is responsible for offering pensions to over 330,000 teachers and school workers.

“We took our time and did a lot of due diligence on the business. It didn’t turn out the way we thought. We weren’t necessarily shown all the information we needed to know to make a balanced decision.”

The pension fund is now looking to direct its investment toward more traditional markets, such as real estate, and is aiming to gain exposure to the private credit sector. The investment plan provider is looking to invest 10 billion Canadian dollars ($7.4 billion) over the next three years to build its portfolio in the aforementioned domains.

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Apart from OTPP, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), another prominent pension fund, lost its entire investment of $154.7 million in thetroubled cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network. Celsius was one among many crypto lenders that went under during the crypto contagion in the second quarter of 2022.

The dramatic collapse of FTX, at the time the third-largest crypto exchange, had a drastic impact on the entire ecosystem. The confidence of investors and venture capitalists in the crypto ecosystem reached a low point while crypto funding dried up. It also flipped the crypto ecosystem’s narrative on mass adoption and attracted regulatory scrutiny from around the world.

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