The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock (with $9.6 trillion in assets), has partnered with leading crypto exchange Coinbase to offer crypto services to institutional clients, according to a blog post on Thursday. The Coinbase-BlackRock partnership news comes a few months after reports emerged that BlackRock will soon start offering crypto services to its clients.
BlackRock Partners Coinbase to Offer Crypto Services
As part of the partnership, BlackRock’s investment management platform, Aladdin, will integrate Coinbase Prime, an institutional prime broker platform, to give institutional clients direct access to crypto.
BlackRock institutional clients who are also customers of Coinbase will be provided with crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities. BlackRock’s Alladin software reportedly manages an estimated $21 trillion worth of assets, a fraction of which clients may not choose to allocate to the crypto space.
Commenting on the development, Joseph Chalom, Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships at BlackRock noted increased institutional interest in crypto assets. He said:
“Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets. This connectivity […] will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly in their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a whole portfolio view of risk across asset classes.”
According to the blog post, BlackRock and Coinbase will continue to upgrade the platform’s integration and also roll out functionality in phases.
BlackRock’s Crypto Moves
BlackRock picked up interest in crypto a few years back. In 2018, the asset manager set up a working group to investigate crypto and blockchain.
Earlier last year, the firm started trading bitcoin CME futures contracts, a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed. In January, the investment firm filed an application with the SEC for a blockchain tech exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Meanwhile, it’s not just BlackRock. Other big financial institutions around the world have continued to show interest in crypto. In April, financial services company Fidelity Investments said it was planning to allow investors to put a bitcoin account in their 401(k) retirement savings account later this year.