According to a blog post published on Thursday, the world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock, has teamed with the prominent cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to provide crypto services to institutional customers.
The collaboration announcement between Coinbase and BlackRock comes a few months after rumors that BlackRock would soon begin delivering cryptocurrency services to its customers.
As part of the cooperation, BlackRock’s Aladdin investment management platform will integrate Coinbase Prime, an institutional prime broker platform, to provide institutional customers with direct access to cryptocurrencies.
BlackRock institutional clients who are also Coinbase customers will have access to cryptocurrency trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting services. According to reports, BlackRock’s Alladin software controls an estimated $21 trillion in assets, a portion of which customers may elect not to allocate to the cryptocurrency market.
BlackRock’s Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships, Joseph Chalom, commented on the situation by noting a surge in institutional interest in crypto assets. He said:
“Our institutional customers are increasingly interested in acquiring exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on managing the operational lifetime of these assets in an effective manner. This integration […] would enable customers to manage their bitcoin exposures directly inside their regular portfolio management and trading processes, providing a holistic picture of portfolio risk across asset classes.”
According to the blog post, BlackRock and Coinbase will continue to enhance the platform’s integration and bring out new features in stages.
A few years ago, BlackRock developed an interest in cryptocurrencies. In 2018, the asset management established a group to research cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company began trading bitcoin CME futures contracts earlier in 2017. The investing business submitted an application to the SEC for a blockchain technology exchange-traded fund in January (ETF).
In the meanwhile, it’s not just BlackRock. Globally, other large financial institutions have maintained their interest in cryptocurrencies. Fidelity Investments, a provider of financial services, said in April that it will let customers to add a bitcoin account to their 401(k) later this year.