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Report indicates BlackRock plans to bring crypto trading support

Sam Grant
  • The New York-based investment management company will allow its clients to trade crypto assets via its Aladdin platform
  • Some of the moves the firm has made in recent days have been an indication of its interest in the cryptocurrency sector

BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm, is looking to provide crypto trading services based on a report from CoinDesk that cited three unnamed parties in the know.

One source, as CoinDesk detailed, said that the asset manager would leverage its Aladdin investment platform to support the same. The proprietary platform's name is a contraction of Asset, Liability, Debt and Derivative Investment Network.

The firm, which had $10 trillion worth of assets under management as of last month, will also debut a credit facility alongside the crypto trading service. The former clears the way for clients to borrow from the firm using the crypto assets as collateral.

The second source noted that the investment management company was considering getting "hands-on with outright crypto." The source added that BlackRock was still exploring its provider options.

The CoinDesk report quoted a third source believed to be a group of about 20 or so individuals in the firm. The group claimed that BlackRock wanted to join the space after seeing other firms get in on the action and make profits.

 "They see all the flow that everyone else is getting and want to start making some money from this," the source told CoinDesk.

Neither source, however, confirmed the exact date when the crypto trading service would be introduced.

The move could help boost institutional adoption

Notable among its clients are foundations & endowments, family offices and official institutions like sovereign wealth funds, public pension schemes, and government agencies. The decision to foray into the sector will, therefore, likely help drive crypto adoption among institutional investors.

BlackRock has been hinting at a move into the crypto sector for over a year now. At the end of 2020, the company's chief executive Larry Fink confirmed that Bitcoin was frequently searched for on the website. Three months into 2021, an SEC filing revealed that the BlackRock Global Allocation held Bitcoin futures.

Fast forward to June, the company shared a job posting for an 'engineering lead for distributed ledger technology' on its Career page.

This year, the firm submitted an application for an ETF product that tracks companies in the blockchain sector. It also has a sizeable share of the business intelligence and enterprise software maker MicroStrategy which has been on a Bitcoin accumulation spree for a while now.

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