BlackRock digs further into crypto with spot bitcoin private trust

abdelaziz Fathi

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with almost $8 trillion in AUM, has launched a spot bitcoin private trust for institutional clients in the United States.

BlackRock office in US

BlackRock revealed the new investment vehicle in a blog post on its website, though it didn’t provide further details.

“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,” the company said in the post.

“Bitcoin is the oldest, largest, and most liquid cryptoasset, and is currently the primary subject of interest from our clients within the cryptoasset space,” the post continued.

The news comes barely a week after BlackRock had inked a partnership deal with the prime brokerage arm of US popular exchange, Coinbase. The collaboration is, however, limited to bitcoin and will allow BlackRock’s institutional clients to have access to crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting via Coinbase Prime.

The clients will also be able to manage their bitcoin and conduct risk analysis using BlackRock’s software suite Aladdin.

Back in April, BlackRock had participated in $400 million funding round for Boston-based fintech startup Circle. In addition to its investment and role as a primary asset manager of USDC cash reserves, BlackRock has entered into a partnership with Circle to explore capital market applications for its stablecoin.

BlackRock made headlines last year when it added bitcoin futures to derivatives products that two of its funds can invest in. The development came shortly after CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, provided a somewhat bullish take on the world’s first cryptocurrency. In a relatively rare endorsement, Fink said Bitcoin has ‘caught the attention’ and could largely replace gold but warned of its growing popularity that has a real impact on the US dollar.

Back then, Fink, who has grown BlackRock into the world’s largest money-management corporation, dismissed bitcoin as nothing more than a vehicle for speculation and money laundering.

The world’s largest asset manager launched a blockchain-focused ETF in April that provides investors with exposure to the crypto and blockchain industry. The company added the Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) to its iShares product line.

Edward Dowd, a former Blackrock executive and investment advisor, also stated that while gold remains a viable investment, Bitcoin has a greater chance of succeeding as a form of wealth storage.

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