Yesterday, it was announced that BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), the world’s largest investment management company with $10 trillion of assets under management, is offering clients direct access to crypto, starting with Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC).
This move shows how far the industry has come since BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink, said in 2017 – “Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world. That’s all it is.” Now, BlackRock is opening the floodgates for institutions to access Bitcoin through its Aladdin product. Aladdin was developed in 1988 and aims to bring clarity to institutional investors. It is helped BlackRock standout amongst its competitors over the years. In 2020, Aladdin handled $21.6 trillion worth of assets, which is over 4% of the world’s wealth. It is connected to over 55,000 investment professionals. It has been announced that Aladdin’s clients will have access to Bitcoin.
BlackRock’s Head of Strategic Partnerships said “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.”
This is a huge milestone for the crypto space, as it demonstrates the demand from BlackRock’s clients and institutional investors to access Bitcoin. I think this could be seen as a green light by other funds to enter the crypto space too. A report from EY, which claimed nearly a quarter of fund managers expect to increase exposure to crypto-related assets over the next two years, is congruent with this assumption.