California Public Employees’ Retirement System Discusses Investing in Blockchain in the Year 2035

By Brian Cohen

August 29, 2016

On July 19, 2016, Jesse McWaters Project Lead, Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services, Financial Services Industries, World Economic Forum gave a Presentation to CalPERS (otherwise known as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) board member on “Investing in Blockchain in the Year 2035” which was a larger part of a talk on 2035 Vision — Investing in the Future.

Public pensions are known to invest conservatively. For instance in 2014 Bloomberg reported that Calpers Exited Hedge Funds, Divesting a $4 Billion Stake. More recently Bloomberg reported that CalPERS’ New York counterpart NYCERS also divested its 1.5 Billion Hedge Fund Portfolio. While Bitcoin, has often been dubbed as “Gold 2.0” and pensions including the Texas Teacher Retirement System have actual gold in their portfolios,* it would take a paradigm shift in thinking for most public pensions to invest in Blockchain much less Bitcoin.

That said, On April 28, Omers Ventures the venture capital arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System announced that it invested in Digital Currency Group, “a builder and supporter of bitcoin and blockchain companies.” This came on the heels of a August 2015 discussion, “Snapshot of Next-Gen Financial Technologies” which included an infographic of Ethereum and other blockchain companies. Of note, William Mougayar , Investor and author of “The Business Blockchain” is on OMERS’ advisory board.

Be forewarned — The Q&A Session in the Youtube video is a bit cringeworthy… “Blockchain has Been Hacked….Blockcoins…etc”

*The Texas Teacher Retirement System has, or will be repatriating its gold from the Federal Reserve, See June 26, 2015 article Greg Abbott says $1 billion in gold bullion headed to Texas from Federal Reserve

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