Fidelity – a $4.5 trillion asset manager– said this fall that some of its 401(k) retirement plans have begun adding Bitcoin to their investment menus.
Similarly, San Francisco-based 401(k) provider ForUsAll said that 50 of its 550 clients started letting workers put their retirement savings in Bitcoin and Ethereum about eight weeks ago.
Here’s what market participants have to say about the emerging trend.
Crypto for Retirement: Is it Popular?
When fidelity first announced Bitcoin for retirement plans in April, it said the product was in high demand from both employers and workers.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s report on Thursday, other 401(k) providers, including Vanguard Group, Alight Solutions LLC, and T. Rowe Price Group Inc, have no similar plans. By contrast, they cite a lack of corporate demand, alongside an unclear regulatory environment surrounding digital assets.
Alight will soon publish a report detailing its survey of 90 employers with over 3 million workers, which found only 4% of respondents were interested in adding crypto. Within that 4%, even they are waiting on regulatory guidance.
However, David Ramirez – Chief Executive of ForUsAll – cites greater demand for digital assets at his firm. He said 300 of the 2500 employees eligible to invest using such plans with ForUsAll are doing so.
Ramirez added that he expects 100 more companies to add crypto options by the end of the year.
Firms Adding Crypto to 401(k) Plans
One firm that’s added crypto to its retirement plans is Compass Mining – a Bitcoin mining hardware provider that began its plan with ForUsAll a few months ago. 63 of its 70 workers participate in the plan, including Chief Strategy Officer Jason Nunney.
Nunney opted for 5% of his retirement plan to be allocated to crypto, which is the maximum that ForUsAll allows. By contrast, Fidelity lets workers put up to 20% of their retirement savings into Bitcoin.
The first employer to agree to use Fidelity’s product was MicroStrategy, whose former CEO Michael Saylor is one of the loudest voices in support of Bitcoin. The company’s senior Vice President, Jeremy Price, is still working to make Bitcoin part of their plan – but the final decision lies with the plan’s governing committee.
Thursday, Fidelity confirmed previously established rumors that it would start bringing Bitcoin and Ethereum access to its retail base of 34 million investors.