Last Updated: 29 July 2022
Three US senators have written an open letter against bitcoin investments. The letter is addressed to the CEO of Fidelity Investments and discusses the asset manager’s plan to offer a bitcoin 401(k) pension plan.
The letter comes from senators Elizabeth Warren, Richard Durbin, and Tina Smith. They call Fidelity’s decision to offer exposure to bitcoin through retirement accounts “hugely troubling.”
They find bitcoin “a volatile, illiquid and speculative asset” that is not suitable for the retirement plan of US citizens. The legislators continue the letter with some statistics about the little money in these retirement accounts: the median is $33,472.
U.S. Senators Upset That Fidelity Investments Offers a Bitcoin 401(k) Retirement Option
— no bullshit bitcoin (@nobsbitcoin) July 28, 2022
Warren and her colleagues outline a scenario in which Americans need their pensions more than ever. In their view, life expectancy is rising, therefore, people need to save more for retirement.
“This begs the question: if saving for retirement is already a challenge for so many Americans, why would Fidelity allow those who can save to be exposed to an untested, highly volatile asset like bitcoin?”
Remarkably, bitcoin is the best-performing asset of the past 13 years, and its scarce nature makes it a nice addition, precisely for the long term (à la a pension pot).
The senators obviously see that people are not saving enough in dollars, but they do not see the reason for this. The dollar is not a means of saving: monetary policy is designed around consumption and not around building up capital.
Fidelity offers clients the opportunity to save in scarce digital money. This concerns a maximum of 20% of the total pension pot. Earlier, the Ministry of Labour already indicated that they were not happy with this (in their eyes too high) percentage.
At the time, some senators were already worried. That is why Republican Byron Donalds, supported by his colleagues Warren Davidson, Young Kim, David Schweikert, and Tom Emmer, quickly came up with a counter-reaction. They want to prevent a bill from restricting Fidelity’s option.