A CHANGE OF HEART
Despite the company’s previous skepticism towards the cryptocurrency field, BlackRock, Inc. is looking at ways to take advantage of the “fast growing cryptocurrency market.”
Insiders familiar the matter told Financial News London that the world’s largest ETF provider has assembled a working group, which consists of members from different divisions, including Terry Simpson — a multi-asset investment strategist. The sources also suggest that the team will be investigating cryptocurrencies, ultimately aiming to determine whether BlackRock should get involved in the field.
BlackRock has yet to confirm the accuracy of the report.
In October 2017, Mark Wiedman, Global Head of iShares and Index Investments at Blackrock, said:
I don’t quite get the point of a bitcoin ETF in any case, because we’re talking about…trading products that are difficult to access. If bitcoin is ever successful – and again not my thing but – I wouldn’t recommend it. But if it were [successful], why would you need an ETF to access it?
Earlier this year, Isabelle Mateos y Lago, BlackRock’s Chief Multi-Asset Strategist and Managing Director, said that “at this stage, this [Bitcoin] is not an investable asset class.”
It’s worth noting that BlackRock has been losing top-end talent to the cryptocurrency field for quite some time.
Vishal Karir, a senior portfolio manager overseeing upwards of $1.5 billion of assets left the company for a cryptocurrency platform. Adam Grimsley and Michael Wong — two of BlackRock’s fixed-income managers — also resigned earlier this year and launched a cryptocurrency hedge fund.