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BlackRock Pursues SEC Approval to Integrate Bitcoin ETFs into Global Allocation Fund

BlackRock, a renowned asset management firm, is actively seeking regulatory approval to include spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in its Global Allocation Fund, known as MALOX.

In an updated filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 7, BlackRock outlined its plans to invest in physically-backed Bitcoin ETPs, including its iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and offerings from other issuers. This move signals BlackRock’s interest in enabling its fund to directly invest in Bitcoin through national securities exchanges.

Established in 1989, the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund aims to generate investment returns by managing a diversified portfolio comprising equity, debt, and money market securities from U.S. and international markets. Noteworthy companies like Microsoft and Apple are among its investments, with MALOX managing assets totaling $17.8 billion as of the latest update.

This initiative aligns with 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 integrating spot Bitcoin ETFs into its investment strategy. With assets under management (AUM) of $36.7 billion, BSIIX surpasses MALOX in size but has experienced modest gains this year.

The potential inclusion of Bitcoin ETPs in these funds signifies a significant shift in the investment landscape, indicating a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies among major institutional investors. MacroScope, a crypto analysis platform, commented on the filing, anticipating more such moves by Wall Street firms in the coming months, signaling potential increased demand and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

However, the approval of BlackRock’s filings by the SEC is still pending. Led by Chairman Gary Gensler, the commission has yet to greenlight BlackRock’s proposals to integrate Bitcoin ETPs into its investment offerings. Nevertheless, BlackRock’s initiative is viewed positively for the cryptocurrency sector, potentially encouraging other asset managers to consider Bitcoin as part of their investment portfolios.

In addition to exploring Bitcoin ETPs, BlackRock launched the iShares Bitcoin Trust, which began trading on January 11. Since its debut, IBIT has witnessed significant growth in its Bitcoin holdings, surging over 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 expressed 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 eagerly anticipated within the financial and cryptocurrency communities.

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