2024: The Year BlackRock Defines Crypto

Max Galka
Nov 30, 2023

Since the 2008 release of the Bitcoin white paper, we’ve been through a number of crypto booms and busts. Whether it was ICOs, monkey JPEGs or Dogecoin, the crypto industry has welcomed new players during each of its cycles. Up until this point, these have largely been retail investors who are hoping that this digital ecosystem can help them earn fantastic rewards on their investments. Large institutional investors have been reluctant to enter the market, but that’s about to change. 

This summer, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, filed an application for a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). Now, it’s also applying for an ETF that holds Ethereum's ether. This strategic decision comes as part of a broader push into the crypto space by the firm, with CEO Larry Fink shifting from skepticism to a vocal supporter of the crypto market in recent years. I believe all of this is going to set the tone for 2024 in the world of crypto. Here’s why: 

Starting From the Top

In the hierarchical world of finance, BlackRock stands at the pinnacle, influencing trends and setting rules for the entire industry. There’s a gravitational pull that institutions like BlackRock exert on the financial landscape. For instance, when I was a trader on Wall Street, we had to adhere to BlackRock's pricing model. Also, it should be noted that BlackRock manages over $9 trillion, meaning their sheer size could give them the power to buy the entire Bitcoin blockchain many times over.

Now, the potential for substantial crypto market movement is evident, considering BlackRock's aggressive buying approach and the anticipation surrounding the ETF's approval. This proactive strategy not only influences current market dynamics but also lays the groundwork for future initiatives.

BlackRock Is Thinking Big

BlackRock's foray into the crypto ETF space is not merely about immediate gains, but rather a strategic move to shape the future of finance. With the potential to excite the market and attract big funds, BlackRock is aiming to position itself as the go-to destination for institutional investors entering the crypto space. CEO Larry Fink's positive stance on crypto, coupled with rumors of sizable buy orders, signals a proactive approach to market participation.

Upon approval, the BlackRock ETF could easily trigger a significant market boom as investors anticipate further price increases. Additionally and arguably most importantly, BlackRock’'s reputation and track record set it apart as the most trustworthy entry point for large pension funds who have been seeking exposure to crypto but waiting for safer options. BlackRock likely has a lineup of eager buyers, positioning the ETF as a gateway for major funds to venture into the crypto sphere, bringing billions of dollars of inflows with them.

Ripple Effects 

BlackRock's move into crypto is expected to catalyze a wave of innovation and competition in the ETF space. Anticipating market share gains, other institutions may launch their own ETFs with unique spins, such as leveraged Bitcoin ETFs or shorting Bitcoin ETFs. The success of BlackRock in navigating regulatory hurdles could embolden other market participants to explore their own crypto initiatives.

BlackRock's decision to create an Ethereum ETF reflects not just a financial move but a seismic shift in the perception and adoption of cryptocurrencies within institutional finance. As the industry heavyweight leads the way, we can expect a ripple effect, with other players following suit. The BlackRock ETF represents more than an investment opportunity; it symbolizes a pivotal moment in the convergence of traditional finance and the rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrencies.