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BlackRock seeks SEC approval for Bitcoin ETF inclusion in Global Allocation Fund

blackrock-seeks-sec-approval-for-bitcoin-etf-inclusion-in-global-allocation-fund
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BlackRock seeks SEC approval for Bitcoin ETF inclusion in Global Allocation Fund

BlackRock, a global leader in asset management, is in the process of seeking regulatory approval to incorporate spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) into its Global Allocation Fund, known as MALOX.

The firm updated its filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 7, outlining its intention to invest in physically-backed Bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs), including its own iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and those offered by other issuers. The move indicates BlackRock’s interest in enabling its fund to invest directly in Bitcoin through national securities exchanges.

The BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, established in 1989, aims to generate investment returns by managing a diversified portfolio consisting of equity, debt, and money market securities from both U.S. and international markets. High-profile companies such as Microsoft and Apple are among those included in the fund’s investments. As of the latest update, MALOX has managed assets totaling $17.8 billion.

This development is part of BlackRock’s broader strategy to engage with digital assets. The firm also updated its filing for the Strategic Income Opportunities Fund (BSIIX) on March 4, indicating a similar interest in incorporating spot Bitcoin ETFs into its investment strategy. BSIIX, with assets under management (AUM) of $36.7 billion, surpasses MALOX in size but has experienced modest gains this year.

The potential inclusion of Bitcoin ETPs in these funds reflects a significant shift in the investment landscape, suggesting a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies among major institutional investors. MacroScope, a crypto analysis platform, commented on the filing, noting the expected increase in such moves by Wall Street firms in the upcoming months, signaling a potential rise in demand and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Despite the proactive steps taken by BlackRock, the SEC’s approval of these filings is still pending. The commission, led by Chairman Gary Gensler, has yet to greenlight BlackRock’s proposals to incorporate Bitcoin ETPs into its investment offerings. Nonetheless, BlackRock’s initiative is viewed as a positive development for the cryptocurrency sector, potentially encouraging other asset managers to consider Bitcoin as a component of their investment portfolios.

In addition to exploring Bitcoin ETPs, BlackRock has launched the iShares Bitcoin Trust, which commenced trading on January 11. Since its debut, IBIT has seen a remarkable increase in its Bitcoin holdings, growing more than 7,000% to 187,531 BTC by March 7, 2024, equivalent to approximately $12.6 billion. This rapid growth positions IBIT as the fastest-growing spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.

Furthermore, BlackRock has shown interest in expanding its cryptocurrency portfolio beyond Bitcoin. In November 2023, the company filed an application for a spot Ether ETF, the iShares Ethereum Trust, with Delaware’s Division of Corporations. The outcome of this application, alongside the broader acceptance of cryptocurrency ETFs by U.S. regulators, remains a closely watched development within the financial and cryptocurrency communities.