Coinbase – one of the largest and most popular digital currency exchanges in the world – is teaming up with investing giant BlackRock to give its customers the opportunity to trade digital assets.
Coinbase and BlackRock Join Hands
Joseph Chalom – global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships at BlackRock – explained in a recent interview:
Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets. This connectivity 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.
It’s interesting to see BlackRock perform such a switch. Larry Fink, the chairman of the company, said roughly five years ago that bitcoin was the “index of money laundering.” He didn’t trust crypto, nor did he have any desire, it seemed, to get involved with it.
However, it looks like things have changed not exactly for Fink, but for the company’s clientele. They are beginning to realize the true prowess of digital assets, and they want in. They’re eager to take advantage of digital currencies’ offerings and expand their portfolios beyond the standard investment tools they’ve been exposed to.
For this reason, it looks like BlackRock feels it has no choice but to move forward with offering digital currencies to customers regardless of how Fink may feel. Executives know there is business to be lost if they don’t change with the times and offering crypto is likely to make everyone coming to the BlackRock table satisfied.
Owen Lau – an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. – offered his take on the new partnership, commenting:
After this validation, it is possible that Coinbase will be able to partner with more traditional financial industries. It shows that even with the size of BlackRock, they are going to partner with a crypto-native company, rather than building their own capabilities.
The move comes at a rather interesting time given how poorly the crypto space has been doing as of late. Bitcoin, for example, is down more than 60 percent from its all-time high of more than $68,000 per unit last November. Right now, the asset is struggling to maintain a position in the low $20K range, and the entire crypto space has lost about $2 trillion in overall valuation.
A Lot of Controversy Surrounding the Exchange
The fact that the space could be in such a weak state and yet so many institutions still want to take advantage of it is proof that digital currencies are becoming far more mainstream and legitimate in people’s eyes – even with the falling prices.
Coinbase has been at the center of much controversy as of late. The company is being investigated by the SEC and a former employee has been accused of insider trading.