Yesterday investment management company BlackRock announced the launch of its new iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC).
IBLC is part of BlackRock’s ‘megatrends’ platform, which offers ETFs that aim to capture major global economic themes and trends. It will seek exposure to companies associated with the development, innovation, and utilization of blockchain technology and digital assets.
The ETF currently owns equity in 34 companies, including cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, bitcoin miners Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain, and payments company PayPal.
To date the SEC has not given the green light to an ETF that directly invests in Bitcoin, though it has allowed funds linked to Bitcoin futures.
“The expansion of our megatrends line-up today reflects the power of the millennial and rise of the self-directed investor, whose buying habits have reshaped mainstream consumer behaviors, and in turn, the companies in which they invest,” said Rachel Aguirre, Head of U.S. iShares Product at BlackRock. “We believe the moment is now to embrace these
forward-looking investment themes before the market recognizes their full potential.”
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with at least $10 trillion in assets under management as of January this year. It is also the largest ETF issuer. There are over 900 iShares ETFs with combined assets under management of $3.15 trillion as of March this year.
The asset manager has previously privately invested in blockchain companies. Earlier this month, it participated in a $400 million funding round for Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin and is exploring using USDC for settlement. In October, it also participated in cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s $420 million Series B extension round.
Other asset managers have also shown interest in the blockchain ETF space. In October, Invesco launched two ETFs focused on digital assets and blockchain. And last month, Schwab Strategic Trust filed an SEC prospectus for a Schwab Crypto Economy ETF.