BlackRock says it will offer clients spot bitcoin exposure a week after partnering with Coinbase for institutional trading push
- BlackRock said Thursday it's launching a private trust to provide spot bitcoin exposure to its US institutional clients.
- The move comes after BlackRock teamed up with crypto trading platform Coinbase.
BlackRock is extending its reach into the crypto world by launching a private trust for institutional clients to provide spot bitcoin exposure, making the move during a lengthy downturn for digital-asset prices.
The world's largest asset manager in a statement Thursday said the trust for US institutional clients aims to track bitcoin's performance, excluding trust expenses and liabilities.
"Despite the steep downturn in the digital asset market, we are still seeing substantial interest from some institutional clients in how to efficiently and cost-effectively access these assets using our technology and product capabilities," said the firm that has $10 trillion of assets under management.
Bitcoin is the "primary subject of interest" from BlackRock's clients within the crypto-asset space, it said. Bitcoin's price during Thursday's session rose 2.4% to $24,523 after earlier trading below $24,000.
News of the trust follows last week's announcement that BlackRock was partnering with crypto trading company Coinbase to provide crypto trading services to its top clients. Coinbase said it would connect clients using BlackRock's investment arm Aladdin with Coinbase Prime.
The launches arrive at a rough time — dubbed "crypto winter" — for the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin's price has plunged from an all-time high above $68,000 logged in November 2021. Prices for ether and numerous other so-called altcoins have also been hit during that time, leading to the crypto market's valuation to fall to roughly $1.1 trillion from more than $3 trillion in nine months.
Risk appetite broadly for cryptocurrencies during the period has been hurt by a range of issues including concerns about higher interest rates and the risk of economic recession, crypto hacks, and bankruptcies at crypto-related companies.
BlackRock said it's been working in four areas of digital assets where it sees potential to benefit its clients and broader capital markets: permissioned blockchains, stablecoins, cryptoassets, and tokenization.
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