With the race-to-the-bottom in beta products playing out, BlackRock is reorganizing itself with an emphasis on higher-fee alternative assets. Some recent hires indicate that Bitcoin may be considered as an avenue for further developing their presence in alternative assets.
Teddy Fusaro, chief operating officer of Bitwise, a San Francisco digital asset manager and creator of the first crypto index fund, says institutional investors are showing increasing sophistication. “A year ago,” he says, “the conversation might have been, ‘How do we know bitcoin is going to survive?’ Or ‘Who is the CEO of bitcoin?’ Today, investors ask questions like, ‘How are blockchains going to solve scalability issues? How will they get broader adoption?’” Over the past six months, Bitwise has seen more money flow into its funds than out, says a person familiar with the matter (Bitwise declined to comment). Bitwise is trying to draw more institutional investors into the market by launching a cryptocurrency ETF. Other companies like VanEck and the Winklevoss brothers’ Gemini have tried to do the same, but the SEC hasn’t approved the new security yet.