The big question for crypto providers is how amenable sponsors, participants and/or DC consultants are to having cryptocurrency in retirement plans.

“In 2022, we are seeing a meaningful increase from clients asking for education on crypto within 401(k) plans,” William Ryan, Chicago-based partner and head of defined contribution plan solutions at NEPC, wrote in an email.

“Like with most new or innovative things within DC, we expect this investigation by our clients will last well over a year,” Mr. Ryan wrote. “We are hearing this increase in interest on crypto from all age groups, but it does seem a big push is coming from participants under the age of 30 who we believe hold over 30% of their investable assets within crypto outside of their DC plans.”

According to a recent survey by the Plan Sponsor Council of America, there’s little interest now. In a snapshot survey of 63 DC executives published a week after the DOL announcement, 1.6% of respondents said they were considering crypto and will continue to do so with the DOL comments in mind. Another 1.6% said they were considering crypto but will now defer that consideration.

However, 57.1% said they would never consider it and 33.3% said the DOL comments confirmed the concerns they already had.

Fidelity’s news release Tuesday cited a 2021 Fidelity survey that found that 30% of U.S. institutional investors would prefer to buy an investment option containing digital assets.

The survey was conducted between Dec. 2, 2020, and April 2, 2021, with 1,100 interviews among investment professionals in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Respondents were high-net-worth individuals, financial advisers, family offices, crypto hedge and venture funds, traditional hedge funds, endowments and foundations, pension funds and defined benefit plans, the news release said The survey didn’t include defined contribution plan officials.

Brian Croce contributed to this story.

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