Coinbase to Provide Crypto Access to BlackRock’s Institutional Investors

  • Users of BlackRock’s institutional investment management platform Aladdin will soon have access to Bitcoin thanks to the new partnership with Coinbase Prime.
  • Shortly after the news were announced, Coinbase’s publicly traded shares jumped in price by 31%, forcing NASDAQ to briefly pause COIN trading due to volatility.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, talking about the future of crypto and Facebook's Libra

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, October 2019.Vanity Fair

Crypto exchange Coinbase has entered into a partnership with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to provide its clients with direct access to crypto, the company said in a blog post on 4 August.

According to the announcement, users of BlackRock’s institutional investment management platform Aladdin — who also sign up for Coinbase Prime — will have direct access to crypto trading, custody, brokerage, and reporting capabilities thanks to the new partnership with the exchange. Although Coinbase Prime provides services on over 300 digital assets, it will initially provide Aladdin users with access only to Bitcoin (BTC). BlackRock’s global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships, Joseph Chalom, said in a statement:

“This connectivity with Aladdin will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly in their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a whole portfolio view of risk across asset classes.”

Chalom also noted that BlackRock’s institutional clients were “increasingly interested” in gaining exposure to the crypto market, which was one of the reasons behind the partnership. In fact, the Coinbase Prime integration came only four months after BlackRock CEO Larry Fink confirmed the company was going to explore ways to offer digital assets to its customers. Both firms will now work to progress the integration, and roll out its functionality on a phased basis.

Partnering with BlackRock — which had $8.5 trillion in assets under management in Q2 2022 — is good news for the publicly traded exchange, which has been struggling this year amid the plunge of the crypto market and its recent troubles with U.S. authorities. After the partnership was announced, Coinbase’s shares (COIN) shortly jumped in price by 32% ($106), but trading was paused by NASDAQ due to volatility. After trading was resumed, the share’s price was normalized around $95.

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