After a job posting for BlackRock’s Aladdin risk and trading platform in June of 2021, plans for the company’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment strategy began to reveal itself. A source familiar with the situation confirmed that BlackRock is currently preparing for a bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading integration with Aladdin.
Aladdin offers end-to-end services for institutional investors, pensions, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, insurers, and wealth managers. The platform was first built to handle BlackRock’s core investment business with analytics and assessment tools to help fund managers make investment decisions. By integrating bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading within their platform, BlackRock and their clients will now be able to gain direct exposure to these investments.
Along with integrating bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, BlackRock has become more public about its involvement with the space. In February of 2021, BlackRock first announced that they were “dabbling” in bitcoin and then by March were trading CME bitcoin futures. Last month, the fund announced that they are also planning on launching a blockchain and tech ETF even when met with criticism over declining prices.
Their commitment to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is further emphasized by BlackRock’s ownership in Microstrategy (MSTR). BlackRock currently owns 613,363 shares or 7.3% of Michael Saylor’s enterprise business intelligence firm. Microstrategy currently owns 120,000+ bitcoin and provides exposure to bitcoin’s price without requiring shareholders to own bitcoin directly.
BlackRock will first have clients (beta testers) enter trades of their own “and then with their own credit facility”. This confirms that clients will be able to borrow funds from BlackRock for trading while placing their own bitcoin or cryptocurrencies up for collateral.