Virginian county wants to put pension funds into DeFi yield farming

The Northern Virginia county of Fairfax has already invested a part of its pension funds in crypto and blockchain startups. Now, it’s mulling over deeper involvement with decentralized finance (DeFi) yield farming.

The Fairfax County Police Pension System’s chief investment officer Katherine Molnar said on Tuesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference that the system aims to fund two new crypto-focused hedge fund managers in the next three weeks. The next few days will see a decision made, which, if approved, would be the first time pension fund money was used in DeFi.

According to Molnar, Fairfax has already committed pension funds to seven crypto allocations across two pension funds, including venture capital funds and one structure that holds early-stage illiquid tokens and later-stage liquid tokens. A different approach to profit from volatility is one of the seven categories. It includes a hedge fund that employs various techniques in cryptocurrency, including yield farming, basis trading and cross-exchange arbitrage.

Fairfax County is no stranger to the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. In 2019, it began investing pension fund cash in cryptocurrencies, with projected returns of 9%. Fairfax’s crypto assets account for approximately 8% of its portfolio in total.

The executive issued a statement regarding the agency’s blockchain-related investments, noting that it had invested in the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund. The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) committed to investing $10 million, while the Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) pledged $11 million. Molnar likened yield farming to a fixed-income replacement or an opportunity for a higher return than rate-sensitive assets.

Related: Australia’s Rest Super retirement fund to invest in crypto for its 1.8M members

The United States took first place on the 2021 Global DeFi Adoption Index. The index tracks countries with the greatest grassroots adoption. To a far greater extent, DeFi uptake is strong in high-income countries that already have a significant cryptocurrency use, particularly among traders and institutional investors. The entrance of Fairfax into the market only enhances the case for US’ DeFi adoption.