BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has just launched a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) to give European clients access to the blockchain industry, while reports suggest a Metaverse-focused ETF could be on the way.
The new blockchain ETF was launched on September 27 called the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF.
BlackRock stated that 75% of its holdings consist of blockchain companies such as miners and exchanges, while the remaining 25% are companies that support the blockchain ecosystem.
The fund includes 35 global companies out of a total of 50 holdings, which also include fiat money and derivatives, but do not invest directly in cryptocurrency.
BLKC represents the latest in a series of digital asset moves by BlackRock, the latest of which was the launch of a private Bitcoin fund on August 11.
In a Finextra report released on September 29, Omar Al-Mufti, thematic and sector ETF product strategist at BlackRock, said the ETF “will provide our clients with an opportunity to interact with global companies driving the development of the new blockchain ecosystem”, and add:
“We believe that digital assets and blockchain technologies will become increasingly relevant to our customers as the scale and complexity of use cases expand.”
The fund’s top five holdings include Coinbase (13.20%), the US dollar (13.00%), fintech firm Block (11.40%), crypto miners Marathon Digital Holdings (11.13%) and Riot Blockchain (10.50 %).
Other holdings include 23 IT companies, six financial companies, one industrial company and one telecommunications company, with a total of 50 holdings as of 28 September.
However, a Bloomberg report released on September 29 indicates that BlackRock may be working on another Metaverse-focused ETF called the iShares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF.
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The report says the fund’s fees and companies have not yet been determined, but it could include “companies with products or services related to virtual platforms, social media, games, digital assets, augmented reality and more.”
The Metaverse ETF is based on findings released on February 14 by BlackRock Technology Opportunities Fund’s cross-portfolio portfolio manager Red Meng, who described Metaverse as a “revolution in the making.”
“Metaverse” is mentioned in company transcripts. Source: BlackRock Market Minute citing Morgan Stanley, 2021.
On August 4th, Coinbase announced that it has partnered with BlackRock and looks set to reap the benefits of the partnership due to heavyweight BLKC.
The partnership gives institutional investors access to cryptocurrency through the Coinbase Prime service.