World’s Biggest Asset Manager Now Has a Crypto ETF

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World’s Biggest Asset Manager Now Has a Crypto ETF
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BlackRock points to blockchain’s potential to “provide financial inclusion to billions of unbanked consumers.”

BlackRock launches blockchain and tech ETF

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with a book value of about $10 trillion, is bullish on blockchain.

The U.S. company announced the launch of a new ETF called the iShares Exchange Traded Fund, which will focus on blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and tech companies. This means BlackRock’s clients, including many high-net-worth institutional players, will be able to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency industry without having to invest directly in volatile assets such as bitcoin and ethereum.

BlackRock filed for the fund with the SEC earlier this year, saying “Aims to track the investment results of an index composed of U.S. and non-U.S. companies involved in the development, innovation, and utilization of blockchain and crypto technologies.”

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The fund allocated an 11.45% stake to leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which memorably went public this time last year. Others include bitcoin mining companies Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot, as well as payments giant PayPal.

The iShares website points to the disruptive potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, noting that the technology “allows independence and control over personal data while providing financial inclusion to billions of unbanked customers.” Meanwhile, A full report accompanying the fund noted that millennials’ demand for a “decentralized digital ecosystem” has grown in the wake of the global lockdown.

The launch of the fund comes at a time when the world of traditional finance and cryptocurrencies are increasingly intertwined. Earlier this week, Fidelity announced that it would allow customers to allocate bitcoin to their 401(k) retirement funds.

BlackRock itself has also become more involved in the space recently, recently announcing that it will manage the cash reserves of USDC, the $50 billion Circle-run stablecoin that has become the heart of the DeFi and cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owns ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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