Virginia county Fairfax commits $35M to Van Eck crypto lending fund

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Virginia county Fairfax has begun investing a portion of a $35 million allotment into a cryptocurrency lending fund managed by global asset managers VanEck.

The firm announced that it had received an initial tranche of the investment commitment from Fairfax County, which is allocating funds from two retirement systems into a variety of cryptocurrency-focused investment avenues.

Fairfax County had previously hinted at delving into the world of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) yield farming as part of its progressive attitude towards the cryptocurrency space. The county began investing a small portion of holdings from its Employees’ Retirement System and the Police Officers Retirement into various cryptocurrency companies and ventures from 2018 onwards.

Related: Amid crypto bear market, institutional investors scoop up Bitcoin: CoinShares

As Fairfax continues to diversify its cryptocurrency investment strategy, its foray into the world of DeFi has officially begun with its investment in VanEck’s New Finance Income Fund. The fund offers short-term lending arrangements with cryptocurrency companies, platforms and businesses.

According to the VanEck website, the fund lends out fiat currency and stablecoins to borrowers in the cryptocurrency space. Targeting accredited investors, the fund offers high-yield income exposure to cryptocurrencies and requires a $1 million initial investment. The investment manager touts ‘a simplified approach that alleviates the operational burden of direct digital assets lending.’

Fairfax County has slowly increased its financing into the space, committing funds to seven cryptocurrency-focused allocations. One of these allocations looks to profit from volatility in the space, with a hedge fund intending to leverage yield farming, basis trading and exchange arbitrage opportunities.

The County previously issued an update on its investments into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, with the Employees’ and Police Retirement Systems investing $10 million and $11 million respectively into Morgan Creek’s Blockchain Opportunities Fund.

The capital allotment from both funds is less than 1% of their total assets under management – as the county slowly gauges the investment potential in the alternative asset class.

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