Coinbase will give BlackRock’s largest institutional clients access to cryptocurrency trading

Coinbase is partnering with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to offer its institutional clients access to cryptocurrency trading through its platform, the cryptocurrency exchange announced Thursday.

Coinbase’s share price jumped more than 18% to $ 95.47 on Thursday after the exchange announced it would offer clients of BlackRock Aladdin’s investment management platform direct access to cryptocurrency trading starting at bitcoin. Aladdin will be linked to Coinbase’s suite of institutional products, known as Prime.

“Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to effectively manage the operational lifecycle of these assets,” said Joseph Chalom, global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships at BlackRock. , in a press release.

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The move comes as institutional interest in the crypto space remains high despite a recent market downturn. The price of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, has dropped roughly 51% year-to-date to $ 23,000 as of Thursday and is trading 66% below its peak near $ 69,000 last November.

The merger between BlackRock and Coinbase comes as the cryptocurrency exchange grapples with regulatory headwinds. Reports last week indicated that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether Coinbase was improperly allowing its clients to trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities.

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said in response to the news that Coinbase is confident in its due diligence process.

“We are confident that our rigorous due diligence process – a process the SEC previously reviewed – will keep the securities off our platform and we look forward to engaging with the SEC on this,” Grewal said. said in a tweet July 25.
BlackRock has previously expressed an interest in digital assets. In his annual letter to shareholders, CEO Larry Fink said the Russian invasion of Ukraine would cause countries to reconsider their reliance on traditional payment systems and fiat currencies. He added in the March letter that BlackRock is exploring how digital currencies and stablecoins could help the company’s clients.

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