According to a blog published Thursday, BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager, overseeing more than $10 trillion in total assets — has launched a new Bitcoin (BTC) private fund. The fund is only available to US institutional investors and seeks to track Bitcoin’s performance, minus the trust fund’s expenses and responsibilities. Explaining the decision, BlackRock said:
“Despite the sharp downturn in the digital asset market, we continue to see strong interest from some institutional clients in how to efficiently and cost-effectively access these assets using the capabilities of our technology and products. Bitcoin is the oldest, largest and most liquid digital asset and is currently the subject of interest for our clients. core in the digital asset space.”
Private equity funds that do not require investments from retail investors do not need to register with the regulatory authorities in the United States. But others, such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, can still be publicly traded – although not registered with the SEC – on over-the-counter markets.
Excluding stablecoins, Bitcoin maintains close to 50% of the industry’s market capitalization. Regarding blockchain energy use, BlackRock said it is encouraged by organizations such as RMI and Energy Web, which are developing programs to bring greater transparency to sustainable energy use in Bitcoin mining.
Last week, BlackRock partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to provide its customers with live valuation of cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin. Users of BlackRock’s institutional investment management platform, Aladdin, will receive cryptocurrency trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities when subscribing to Coinbase Prime. On a broader level, BlackRock said it is conducting research in four areas of digital assets — licensed blockchains, stablecoins, crypto assets and tokens — and their associated ecosystems.