Coinbase is gaining access to Aladdin, BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management platform which handles trillions in assets, to provide exposure to crypto.
“Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets,” Joseph Chalom, Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships at BlackRock, said before adding:
“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.”
The Economist described Aladdin in 2013 as handling “almost 7% of the world’s $225 trillion of financial assets.”
However, not all institutions that have access to Aladdin can now tap into crypto through Coinbase as the institution has to be contracted “with both Aladdin and Coinbase.”
For now therefore it is more the case that BlackRock’s clients, who use Coinbase, can just operate through BlackRock directly, rather than two platforms.
Yet the move even to this stage indicates just how much interest in institutional crypto investment has grown, with Coinbase stating its clients include hedge funds, asset allocators, financial institutions, corporate treasuries and other institutions.
Coinbase has previously claimed they have 10,000 institutional investors in bitcoin and eth, handling billions a month in volumes while accounting for 60% of all trading.
That has now grown to 76% of all trading, but that’s in part because Coinbase charges institutional investors far, far less than other investors with the public continuing to have a greater share of asset holdings.
Yet institutional interest in crypto has become so great that even a giant like BlackRock can no longer ignore it, with it to be seen whether this integration is just the first step.