The world’s biggest asset manager Blackrock is reportedly planning to offer crypto trading to its investor clients.
Blackrock, which manages over $10trn (£7.3trn) in assets for institutions, plans to enter the crypto space with “client support trading and then with their own credit facility,” someone familiar with the matter told Coindesk. Reportedly Blackrock will allow clients to trade cryptocurrency through its integrated investment management platform Aladdin and has plans to allow investors to stake crypto as collateral for loans.
While the reports remain unconfirmed, the asset manager has previously signalled its support for crypto. BlackRock has a 16.3 per cent stake in Microstrategy, a company which claims to hold over 122,000 bitcoin and whose CEO, Michael Saylor, is a vocal crypto advocate. The firm has also filed with the SEC to trade Bitcoin futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
The firm began searching for a blockchain strategy lead for Aladdin last June.
Sources at Blackrock hinted at plans to experiment further with crypto. A person familiar with the matter told CoinDesk that BlackRock is interested in getting “hands-on with outright crypto” and was “looking at providers in the space.”
A third person reportedly commented that there is a working group of “approximately 20 or so” evaluating bitcoin and cryptocurrency inside BlackRock. “They see all the flow that everyone else is getting and want to start making some money from this,” the source added.
Financial heavyweights including Citi bank and Morgan Stanley have made the jump into digital asset research last year amid an explosion of investor interest in crypto.