BlackRock makes bitcoin eligible investment to $15B fund

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is adding Bitcoin as an eligible investment to its flagship global allocation fund, one of the most preferred vehicles for retail and passive investors.

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The move will allow BlackRock to allocate a portion of the fund’s $15 billion to cash-settled bitcoin futures traded on a CFTC-registered commodity exchange, according to company filings.

The Global Allocation Fund employs fully managed investment policies utilizing US and foreign stocks, bonds and money market securities. These combinations are subject to change at any time according to economic trends. Under normal market conditions, the Primary Fund invests at least 70% of its total assets in securities of corporate and government issuers. Based on historical performance, the company delivered a five-year annualized total return of 10.35%, ranking among the top three peers in its category.

“Funds may invest in cash-settled Bitcoin futures traded on commodity exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” the application states.

BlackRock made headlines last year by adding bitcoin futures to its derivative product portfolio in which two funds can invest. The development comes on the heels of BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink showing a somewhat bullish view on the world’s first cryptocurrency. Fink said Bitcoin could “take center stage” and replace gold, but warned that its growing popularity would have a real impact on the U.S. dollar.

Fink, who had grown BlackRock into the world’s largest money management company at the time, dismissed Bitcoin as nothing more than a vehicle for speculation and money laundering.

The world’s largest asset manager launched a blockchain-focused ETF in April to give investors exposure to the crypto and blockchain industry. The company has added the Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) to its iShares product line.

BlackRock had a partnership agreement with the main brokerage arm of popular US exchange Coinbase. However, the collaboration is limited to Bitcoin and will give BlackRock institutional investors access to crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage and reporting via Coinbase Prime. Clients can also use BlackRock’s software suite, Aladdin, to manage their Bitcoins and perform risk analysis.

BlackRock also participated in a $400 million funding round for Boston-based fintech startup Circle. In addition to its investment and role as the primary asset manager of the USDC cash reserve, BlackRock has partnered with Circle to explore stablecoin capital market applications.

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