BlackRock launches blockchain industry ETF, names crypto as 1 of 3 big opportunities

BlackRock has officially launched a blockchain focused ETF, that provides investors with exposure to the crypto and blockchain industry without needing to directly own digital assets. 

On Wednesday, the world’s largest asset manager, which currently manages approximately $10 trillion in assets, added the Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) to its iShares product line.

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The $4.7 million ETF does not directly own cryptocurrencies or digital assets themselves, but instead tracks an array of international companies that are involved in the industry.

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The ETF is comprised of 41 separate holdings, with the largest single holding being US-based crypto exchange Coinbase making up 11.45% of the fund. This is closely followed by large Bitcoin miners Marathon Digital Holdings (11.19%) and Riot Blockchain Inc. which accounts for 10.41% of the total holdings.

Showing readiness for future acquisitions, the ETF currently sports a healthy 9.15% US dollar cash position.

Alongside the release of the new ETF, BlackRock published a report that outlined three main areas of the market that are currently undergoing permanent changes.

The paper details just how bullish BlackRock is on the crypto industry, stating that while most of the attention directed towards digital assets focuses on the price and volatility, the actual value of blockchain is yet to be fully realised.

“We believe the broader opportunity — leveraging blockchain technology for payments, contracts and consumption broadly — has not yet been priced in.”

The paper also brings attention to the adoption of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), noting that 87 countries are currently in the process of exploring the technology.

Related: BlackRock joins stablecoin issuer Circle’s $400M funding round

Crypto ETFs are growing in popularity among institutional investors as a way of gaining exposure to the cryptocurrency industry.

Discussions concerning a spot Bitcoin ETF have been re-ignited after a recent Nasdaq survey revealed that 72% of the 500 financial advisors interviewed would be more likely to invest client funds in a spot fund over a futures-based one.