BlackRock has partnered with crypto exchange Coinbase to offer institutional investors access to bitcoin, a sign the world’s largest asset manager is becoming increasingly bullish on digital assets.
Coinbase announced on Thursday BlackRock would start offering bitcoin trading and custody services to its clients despite the current cryptocurrency bear market.
BlackRock's institutional clients will be able to purchase bitcoin on the asset manager's Aladdin platform, with Coinbase providing the access to the largest cryptocurrency.
Commenting on the news, Joseph Chalom, global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships at BlackRock, said: “Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets.”
This marks a turn of fortune for Coinbase which has struggled throughout the year, laying off 18% of its workforce as recessionary fears shed more than $2trn off the crypto industry’s market cap.
On the news, Coinbase shares soared 17.1% to $95. This marks a trend reversal for the crypto exchange that has seen its share price plummet from $342 when it went public in April 2021.
Having already announced its willingness to offer clients exposure to cryptocurrencies in February, the move signals the asset manager’s interest in cryptocurrencies.
In January, BlackRock filed for a blockchain equity ETF that offers exposure to blockchain and crypto companies.
Across the traditional financial industry, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Bank of American and Morgan Stanley, have all started to explore digital asset products amid growing market demand.