San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is reportedly looking to launch a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF), and sought the help of $6 trillion asset manager BlackRock to do it properly.
According to a report published by Business Insider citing people familiar with the matter, Coinbase is looking to launch a crypto ETF to help investors gain access to the market. Per the report, it held conversations with BlackRock’s blockchain working group.
BlackRock is notably the world’s largest asset manager, and is a pioneer in the ETF market. It’s well known for its iShares division, and as CryptoGlobe covered has considered getting into crypto as it sees cryptocurrencies “potentially becoming more widely used in the future as the markets mature.”
Its blockchain working group has reportedly been created in 2015, and consists of employees across numerous businesses. Its goal is to find applications for the technology in financial services. Its representatives, per the report, didn’t give Coinbase any concrete recommendations.
Although the firm itself is considering entering the crypto space, its CEO Larry Fink has in the past called bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, an “index of money laundering.”
If Coinbase is indeed looking to launch a crypto ETF, it’s set to join numerous other firms including the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange, VanEck, and Bitwise Asset Management. Notably, bitcoin ETF applications haven’t been going far with regulators.
As covered, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected BTC ETF proposals from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares last month. This as the regulator doesn’t see crypto markets being properly monitored, making them risky for investors.
As Business Insider notes a Coinbase ETF would likely involve more cryptocurrencies than just BTC. The firm’s conversation with BlackRock is an example of how the crypto world is increasingly becoming more influential.
Goldman Sachs has recently dropped plans to launch a bitcoin trading desk, although it’s still developing a custody product for the crypto space that could see it hold cryptocurrencies and even track their price for large institutional clients.