BlackRock To Offer Institutional Clients Crypto via Coinbase

The partnership would allow investors to manage bitcoin exposures in existing workflows, BlackRock exec says


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key takeaways

  • Users of BlackRock’s Aladdin platform include asset managers, pension funds, insurers and corporate treasurers
  • BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in March the war in Ukraine could accelerate the adoption of digital currency

Coinbase has partnered with the world’s largest asset manager to offer BlackRock institutional clients access to crypto.

By connecting BlackRock’s investment platform, Aladdin, and Coinbase Prime, the companies are providing crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage and reporting capabilities to clients of both Aladdin and Coinbase, according to a Thursday blog post by Brett Tejpaul, head of Coinbase Institutional, and Greg Tusar, vice president of institutional product.

After the news, BlackRock’s stock was $694.27, as of 10:20 am ET, up more than 0.5% for the day. Coinbase’s price was nearly $96 at that time, up more than 18% for the day.

Coinbase launched Coinbase Prime last year as a way to offer institutions the ability to trade 200 assets and custody more than 300 assets. It also provides prime financing, staking, analytics and reporting tools.

Aladdin combines sophisticated risk analytics with comprehensive portfolio management, trading and operations tools. Its users include asset managers, pension funds, insurers and corporate treasurers.

BlackRock’s institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets, Joseph Chalom, the fund group’s global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships, said in a statement.  

“This connectivity with Aladdin 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,” Chalom said. 

A BlackRock spokesperson declined to comment further. 

The focus will initially be on offering access to bitcoin for institutional clients. BlackRock and Coinbase are looking to roll out capabilities to other clients down the line.

The $8.5 trillion asset manager’s step into crypto comes after BlackRock launched a blockchain ETF in April. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said the month prior that the war in Ukraine could accelerate the adoption of digital currency.

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