BLKC: BlackRock launches iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF

Rick Steves

“The exposure offered by the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF will allow our clients the opportunity to engage with global companies leading the development of the emerging blockchain ecosystem.”

BlackRock

BlackRock has launched iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF [BLKC], an exchange traded fund (ETF) that will track the NYSE® FactSet® Global Blockchain Technologies Capped Index.

BLKC enables enables European customers to gain exposure to a variety of companies involved in the development, innovation, and utilisation of blockchain and crypto technologies.

The Fund is listed on Euronext, with a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.50%.

75% exposure to crypto firms, 25% exposure to payments/semiconductor firms

The blockchain ETF comprises 35 global companies from developed and emerging markets with 75% exposure to companies whose primary business is related to blockchain, such as crypto miners and exchanges, and 25% exposure to companies who support the blockchain ecosystem, such as payments and semiconductor companies. The exposure is at the forefront of innovation, paving the future of blockchain. BLKC does not directly invest in cryptocurrencies.

BlackRock is addressing growing demand for investment strategies in the digital asset space as the ecosystem continues to expand, having already given rise to decentralized payment systems, underlying a notional US$1tn market cap for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, and a myriad possibilities for efficiencies in the capital markets.

Trading volumes for digital assets, and the depth of market, has improved five times year-over-year, from US$10 billion average daily volume at 31 December 2017 to US$53 billion at 31 August 2022.

Omar Moufti, BlackRock’s product strategist for thematic and sector ETFs, commented: ‘We believe digital assets and blockchain technologies are going to become increasingly relevant for our clients as use cases develop in scope, scale and complexity. The continued proliferation of blockchain technology underscores its potential across many industries. The exposure offered by the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF will allow our clients the opportunity to engage with global companies leading the development of the emerging blockchain ecosystem.”

BlackRock increasingly tied to crypto

BlackRock has recently launched a spot bitcoin private trust for institutional investors in the United States. The news came 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.

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