BlackRock’s newest ETF invests in 35 blockchain-related companies

BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, just launched an exchange-traded fund (ETF), which provides European customers exposure to the blockchain sector. Reports indicate that a Metaverse-focused ETF is possible.

The iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF was launched on September 27th.

BlackRock stated that 75% of its holdings are made up of blockchain companies, such as exchanges and miners, while 25% of the remaining holdings are supported by the blockchain ecosystem.

The fund has 35 global companies among its total 50 holdings. It also includes fiat cash derivatives but doesn’t directly invest in cryptocurrency.

BLKC is the latest in a series for BlackRock to move into the digital assets market. The most recent was the launch of a private Bitcoin trust, the last being Aug. 11.

Omar Moufti (product strategist for sector and thematic ETFs at BlackRock), stated that the ETF would “allow our clients to engage with global businesses leading the development the emerging blockchain ecosystem.”

“We believe that digital assets and blockchain technology will become more relevant for our clients as the use cases expand in scope, complexity and importance.”

The fund’s top five holdings are: Coinbase (13.20%), USD Cash (13.00%); fintech firm Block (11.40%); crypto mining firms Marathon Digital Holdings (11.13%) and Riot Blockchain (10.50%).

There are also 23 IT companies, six finance companies, one industrial company and one communications company. The total holdings were 50 as of Sept. 28, 2008.

A Bloomberg report from Sept. 29 suggested that BlackRock could be developing an ETF that is focused on the Metaverse. It’s called the iShares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF.

Related: Wealth managers, VCs help institutional crypto adoption — Wave Financial executives

According to the report, the ticker and fees of the fund are not yet publicly listed. However, it could include firms that offer products or services that are tied to virtual platforms and social media.

The Metaverse ETF was created in response to insights from Reid Menge, co-portfolio manager at BlackRock Technology Opportunities Fund. Reid Menge called the Metaverse “revolutionary in the making”.

Company transcripts include mentions of ‘Metaverse’. Source: BlackRock Market Minute, Morgan Stanley, 2021.

Coinbase announced on Aug. 4 that it had entered into a partnership agreement with BlackRock. It appears to be reaping its rewards with its high weighting of BLKC.

Institutional investors will now have access to crypto via Coinbase Prime.

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