'There’s a lot of drug money': Why Teachers' won't touch bitcoin
The man in charge of investment decisions at Canada’s third-largest pension fund isn’t buying into the hype surrounding Bitcoin.
In an exclusive broadcast interview on BNN, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Chief Investment Officer Bjarne Graven Larsen said it’s too early for his fund to get into Bitcoin due to concerns about the amount of illegally-generated cash flowing into cryptocurrencies.
“We are a bit skeptical in the sense that it’s not really regulated, you’re not really sure who’s behind this,” he said. “Personally, I do not like the fact that you know there’s a lot drug money, there’s a lot of illegal money in these cryptocurrencies. So I think it’s early days.”
Larsen, whose fund held $180.5 billion worth of assets for the teachers of Ontario as of June 30, 2017, said he’s far more intrigued by the value of the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies than he is of the actual value of Bitcoin.
“The blockchain technology behind it is great, but I’m not sure that Bitcoin or any other of these cryptocurrencies will do well long-term,” he said.
While bitcoin’s more-than 600-per-cent surge over the course of 2017 dwarfs Teachers’ 3.7-per-cent return through the second quarter, Larsen said cryptocurrencies are too risky without greater oversight.
“I think you need to have somebody regulating them to make sure that everything that happens in that world is happening in a lawful way.”