BlackRock filings suggest asset management giant could buy bitcoin futures via certain funds

Twin filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggest that BlackRock, the trillion-dollar asset management giant, is set to make allocations to bitcoin futures via some of its funds.

The two filings — for the BlackRock Funds V and BlackRock Global Allocation Fund, Inc. — contain the same language that refers to bitcoin futures. They both read: "Certain Funds may engage in futures contracts based on bitcoin."

The filings, dated January 20, outline potential risks for such activities, noting:

"A Fund’s investment in bitcoin futures may involve illiquidity risk, as bitcoin futures are not as heavily traded as other futures given that the bitcoin futures market is relatively new."

BlackRock added that "[t]he only bitcoin futures in which the Funds may invest are cash-settled bitcoin futures traded on commodity exchanges registered with the CFTC."

To be sure, the filings themselves don't definitively say that BlackRock funds are on the cusp of buying bitcoin future. But such filings have been known to predate these kinds of moves, indicating that BlackRock is at least laying down the regulatory tracks to conduct allocations if it so chooses.

Last month, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink remarked during a panel appearance that bitcoin is gaining legitimacy as an asset class, but cautioned that "[w]e have to go through many markets to see if it's going to be permanently real."

BlackRock is also seeking to hire a blockchain lead, a vice president-level role. 

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This report has been updated with additional information from the filing.