World’s Largest Digital Asset Manager BlackRock Introduces Blockchain ETF in Europe

Updated by Kyle Baird
In Brief
  • The iShare Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF offers exposure to many large crypto companies.
  • The significant inclusions are Coinbase, Galaxy Digital, and Marathon Digital.
  • BlackRock may also be working on releasing a metaverse-related ETF.
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The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, launched a blockchain ETF in Europe. The ETF focuses on major companies in the industry and offers exposure to Coinbase, Galaxy Digital, and Marathon Digital.

Called the iShare Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF, the fund allows European clients to increase their exposure to the blockchain space via significant companies in the industry.

The ETF is similar to the one BlackRock launched in the United States, and the asset manager clearly believes that there is a strong future for the industry. Product strategist at BlackRock Omar Mufti said as much,

“We believe digital assets and blockchain technologies are going to become increasingly relevant for our clients as use cases develop in scope, scale, and complexity.”

The ETF covers 35 blockchain companies, with the largest allocations going towards Coinbase, Galaxy Digital, and Marathon Digital. Other companies in the fund include PayPal, Nvidia, and IBM. Overall, 75% of the companies are exchanges or mining-related, while the remaining 25% support the ecosystem.

BlackRock diving deeper into the crypto rabbit hole

BlackRock has been showing an increasing amount of interest in the cryptocurrency industry, as evinced by many of the actions that the company has taken in recent months. This includes working with exchanges in the space for a variety of reasons.

Early in September 2022, it was revealed that BlackRock would use Kraken’s CF Benchmarks’ bitcoin index for a crypto offering. The firm has also teamed up with Coinbase to expand into the crypto market, with the partnership focusing on helping clients oversee their bitcoin exposure.

BlackRock seems to be confident with bitcoin and the crypto class. A former BlackRock executive believes that the cryptocurrency is here to stay and that conviction is also present in other executives.

Crypto ETFs gaining steam

There are several developments related to ETFs which speak positively about the maturity of the market. BlackRock is also working on a metaverse-related ETF, according to a report published by Bloomberg recently. There has been little update on this, but this would be unsurprising, given the interest that companies both inside and outside the industry have in the metaverse.

Meanwhile, spot ETFs continue to meet rejections in the U.S. The SEC rejected a request from Grayscale to convert its Bitcoin Trust into a spot ETF. The firm sued in response, which could see a resolution by early 2024.

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