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Investment giant BlackRock is looking for a crypto expert

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

After praising Bitcoin, BlackRock is recruiting a Vice President to drive its blockchain and digital assets business. Skepticism is no longer present on the asset manager’s side.

BlackRock Financial Management is a pillar of asset management with $7800 billion under management. But the company remains first and foremost a player in traditional finance. Tomorrow, it could also become a key player in the digital asset market.

The group has published a noticeable job offer. BlackRock is looking to recruit a new vice-president for its New York office. The function of this future collaborator: piloting the blockchain activities.

The VP “blockchain Lead” will have a clear roadmap. He or she will “create and implement strategies to drive demand for the company’s offerings and improve the customer value proposition of technology investments and offerings. ยป

However, the candidate’s technological skills will not be his or her only and primary asset. The offer specifies that the candidate must have at least one year’s experience on the various technical aspects of the blockchain.

The future VP of BlackRock must be able to “articulate the technological bases” of the blockchain. This includes cryptographic hash functions, distributed network consensus mechanisms and public-private key cryptography. Among other skills.

Does BlackRock, like JPMorgan, plan to design its own blockchain solutions? The job offer does not say so. The manager’s objective could above all be to acquire expertise in the management of crypto-actives for institutions.

Demand from these customers for such investments is growing strongly. For its funds, Skybridge Capital has invested $183 million in Bitcoin. The firm is betting on an evolution in the allocation of capital from hedge funds, RIAs and insurance funds.

For BlackRock, it would therefore be a question of aligning itself with investor demand, including in a defensive strategy. Earlier in 2020, Forbes reported investor disinterest in BlackRock’s long-term products. In particular, they preferred crypto funds such as Grayscale.

The financial giant’s skepticism towards Bitcoin and crypto assets is no longer relevant today. Bitcoin has “caught the attention and imagination of many people,” including within BlackRock. As its CEO, Larry Fink, recently stated

“Do I think Bitcoin is a sustainable system that could replace gold in a large part? Yes, I think so, because it is much more functional than trading physical gold,” said was Rick Rieder, Blackrock’s Chief Investment.